Alta Vista School, Getting Room to Grow


An additional grant from the Bill Gates Foundation allowed the gym to be expanded into a full sized addition.

A heavy duty crane hoists a segment of the new gym into place with other panels.

The current spring break at Alta Vista Charter School in Prowers County means a major push in construction for the expansion and restoration of the building.

Alta Vista Charter School is using BEST (Building Excellent Schools for Tomorrow) funds, approximately $5.9 million, for a major expansion and renovation of the facility, adding a full gym, classrooms, an elevator, cafeteria and kitchen, library and music area. Jason Hegge of JHL Constructors of Denver told The Prowers Journal the walls and roof of the gym will be up, most of the concrete slabs and most of the steel framework on another addition will be complete, pending good weather through the week. Approximately 16,000 square feet will be added, allowing for a maximum 140 students for the K-6 grade charter school. The complete project including renovations to the 6,000 square foot primary building, should be finished by August. Brian Townsend, VP of Operations for JHL Constructors, said the new additions will be highly energy efficient, featuring double insulated walls and roof, a geothermal field of 50 wells are being dug on school property to augment heat, and light fixtures will automatically dim or switch off when sufficient natural light is brought into the classrooms through solar tubes, similar to sky lights. He added the new classrooms will use ‘smart walls’, connected to a computer. These will allow the students to use the touch-sensitive walls the same way computer screens function, touching and dragging or pasting their lesson programs from one part of a wall to another.

Alta Vista school administrator Talara Coen said several cranes will be used the week of March 14 to set up the pre-fab walls of the gym and new addition. There was additional funding given from the Bill Gates Foundation to allow the gym to be enlarged to a full-sized complex. Hegge said he plans to submit a construction bid to the Holly school system for their renovation plans. JHL Constructors, Inc is one of four contractors that qualified for the short list following their interview with the school board.

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