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Lake City Community School Addition and Renovation

Lake City, CO

"With the need to pass a bond in our community in order to partially fund our project, it was critical to hire the best fit architect for our community and with our hiring process, we found just that. RTA Architects addressed the planning process with a proactive, positive approach. I highly recommend RTA Architects if you are considering building or renovating your facility.”

Rebecca Hall, Superintendent/Principal, Lake City Community School, Hinsdale County School District RE-1


Connecting through experience of place.

Constructed in 1986 on the site of the original brick school house, the Lake City Community School is a PK-12 school serving students in Hinsdale County, Colorado. The aging facility lacked the necessary space and facilities to adequately serve all of their students. Students frequently walk 3½ blocks from the school to the downtown armory for physical education. The Lake City Community School also had critical security, safety, and health concerns to address.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

After previously completing the District’s conceptual design in support of their Master Plan, RTA worked closely with the District and community members, holding six community meetings and a design workshop to ensure all voices were heard in the early stages of design. RTA also assisted the District with their successful BEST Grant application.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

The renovation involved the construction of a new gymnasium, stage/music room, a Career and Technical Education (CTE) classroom, a preschool classroom, and a commercial kitchen. The new Gymnasium was a key feature of the design as the previous school was the only one in Colorado without a Gym. Overhead doors allow the Gym to be used for indoor/outdoor PE classes and recess, and moveable bleachers and the stage provide space for musical and theatrical events. Updated security access features allow the Gym to be compartmentalized and utilized for community events. The Commons space is designed to operate in multiple capacities as a Commons for small-group learning, a cafeteria, and for concessions for event visitors.

Sustainable, biophilic design was also a priority. Spaces in the interior of the building feature solatubes to distribute daylight and reduce electricity use, and classrooms were designed with prioritized access to daylight.  Displacement ventilation was specified to reduce Co2 levels, reduce classroom noise, and provide improved occupant comfort and airflow. Colors and natural materials throughout the building honor the breathtaking beauty of the area and reflect the historic neighborhood in which the school is located.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 33,255 sf
  • Project cost: $12.641M

Design Details

  • BEST Grant assistance
  • Extensive collaborative design process
  • Multi-purpose gymnasium with stage and moveable bleachers
  • Career and Technical Education classroom
  • Expanded classrooms
  • Historically appropriate design
  • Security, health, and safety upgrades
  • Extensive daylighting
  • Clearly defined secure entry
  • Photography by David Lauer


  • 2021 LESolutions Planning and Design Award, Renovation / Major Addition, Presented by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)
  • 2020 Summit Design Award, Presented by the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Rocky Mountain Chapter