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Washington Elementary School

Cañon City, CO


Connecting through experience of place.

In 2018 the Cañon City School District retained RTA to design a new Washington Elementary School on the existing site and assist with a BEST Grant application. The existing Washington Elementary was aging and in need of structural, plumbing, and life safety upgrades.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

RTA worked closely with Washington Elementary School stakeholders. RTA led seven meetings with the 25-member Design Advisory Group (DAG) where staff, teachers, and District personnel had opportunities to evaluate the site options and classroom concepts. Energy efficiency was a focus of the design, and the project is pursuing LEED Gold certification.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

Classroom design for the new Washington Elementary School is centered around 21st Century “learning communities”. Each learning community consists of two grades, a learning commons, teacher collaboration space, small group spaces, and teacher storage. The Art space is strategically located next to the Library to allow for cross pollination of activities between the two.

The Commons will be the “heart” of the school and will also act as the hub or entrance space for the Media Center, Music Room, Administration, and kitchen serving area. Energy efficiency is a focus of the design, and the project is pursuing LEED Gold certification.

The new Washington Elementary will be located adjacent to the existing facility and is slated for completion for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 46,500 sf (estimated)
  • Project cost: $18.6M (estimated)

Design Details

  • BEST Grant assistance
  • Multi-phased construction
  • 21st Century education environments with learning communities, teacher collaboration spaces, learning commons, and flexible furnishings
  • Maker space
  • Collaborative design with the DAG and the District
  • Pursuing CHPS certification
  • Energy-efficient MEP and irrigation systems
  • Extensive daylighting
  • Art patio and outdoor classroom