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Ridgway Elementary School Renovations

Ridgway, Colorado


Connecting through experience of place.

In 2019 the Ridgway School District Board of Education retained RTA to complete a Facilities Master Plan to assist the District in defining current and future facility needs. The most significant needs were found in the Elementary school which had many systems that had served their useful life and were in need of replacement as well as life safety concerns. The elementary level also needed to expand to keep up with District growth and to support 21st Century Learning principles. RTA assisted RSD with a successful BEST Grant to fund the necessary renovation.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

In a fully collaborative effort, RTA worked with RSD Executive Team, the 12-member Design Advisory Group, District User Groups, and the Owner's Representative to refine and finalize the option generated during the master plan. Students were also invited to draw their "dream outdoor classroom."


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

Building improvements to the 1972 building portion include a roof replacement with an insulated metal panel roof system that improves thermal performance, new interior finishes, new exterior windows and doors to improve the exterior envelope's energy performance, new exterior cladding, and new mechanical systems and safety and security upgrades.

The renovated spaces prioritize versatility and flexibility, encouraging the adoption of a range of learning approaches and teaching techniques. To support Ridgway’s outdoor curriculum, the renovation includes designated outdoor learning spaces for each grade. Two classrooms for each grade level accommodate future growth and better utilize the space. The reconfigured office area brings all office functions into a single suite and creates a controlled building entry that provides better visibility for office staff.

ridgway es interior photo extended learning

Project Details

  • Square Footage: 61,646 sf
  • Project Cost: $14.8M

Design Details

  • Collaborative design process
  • BEST Grant project
  • Occupied during construction
  • Multi-phased project
  • Flexible 21st Century learning environments
  • Admin reorganization
  • Safety and security upgrades
  • New finishes
  • Connections to outdoor learning spaces
  • MEP upgrades
  • New roof and exterior envelope
  • Sustainable design and pursuit of Green Globes certification
  • Photography by David Lauer


  • 2023 Summit Merit Award, Presented by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Rocky Mountain Chapter