It’s really happening: Initial design revealed for new West building


Kathryn Broderius

The new Greeley West design shows the landscape and layout of the building, as selected by the Design Advisory Group on Wednesday night. Groundbreaking on the project will commence next fall.

Kathryn Broderius, Staff Writer

Wednesday night was a really big deal for the future of Greeley West.  The Design Advisory Group (DAG) came to a unanimous decision on the foundational design for Greeley West’s new building. 

Officially, the design selected is named the “International Learning Market Scheme” by the architects on the project. Some DAG members may say that it looks like a fan – maybe even a Spartan head –  but all three small breakout groups agreed that they had their sights set on that specific design when it came time to share out and vote as a whole group. 

The group has met bi-weekly since January to get to this point. At the previous DAG meeting, four designs were presented, while two front runners quickly rose to the top. Since then, the design team has worked to modify the two designs based on previous recommendations, which were then brought back for the final decision. 

The design team was delighted at the well-received decision and are excited to work on such a unique design. “This is the best fit for this site and will provide a signature facility on this site. Yet it will allow construction to be done with the least impact to the school while it’s going on,” explained design team member Brian Yahn. 

Design architect, Lisa Gardener added that, “This committee has a great overview, but we will now talk really specifically with teachers on details of storage space and equipment for them and the students.”

Several highlighted aspects of the design include the open and brightly lit “hub” area where students will first walk into, accompanied by a staircase large enough to sit and work on. Along with a hallway, the full length of the building will allow for easy access to each department which is best described as an offshoot or blade of the fan. Also, subject-specific and CTE classrooms will be grouped together for easy locating.  And if you were wondering, there will be plenty of bathrooms, windows and walking space to make the school a much brighter and less chaotic space. 

From the district standpoint, Chief of Communications Ms. Theresa Myers elaborated that, “We believe this has been an amazing collaborative process so far, and we expect that to continue. Staff, students, parents and community members have all had input so far, and architects Hord, Coplan, and Macht, along with Adolfson and Peterson Construction and the district’s owners representative RLH Engineering, Inc. have worked hard to incorporate the feedback while being cognizant of the budget for the project.”

“I think this is going to be an incredible high school that will take this district and the Greeley West community through the next 60 years and beyond,” Myers continued.  “We are very excited for the construction to begin!

Although the initial design has been decided upon, there is still much work to be done. Even though there was an obvious winner, aspects of the second design were well received and suggested to possibly be incorporated into the first design. The group will continue to move forward fleshing out the specific details of the two-story building and design layout, with the goal to make it the best school possible for West. 

Next week, collaborations with architects, designers and teachers will commence to specify details for each department. The DAG committee will also spend the next meetings critiquing specific areas on the exterior as well as the interior. 

Jeff Kirtley, who is with RLH Engineering elaborated that, “The schematic design process should be complete by late April and then we will go into looking at different design impacts which take us through the summer and then transition to construction document face to get the correct permits, with the end goal to begin construction in the fall.” 

Kathryn Broderius
This blueprint design provides an idea of where different classrooms will be located located within the design. All of this is subject to change as the DAG committee and architects continue to fine-tune the project.