Colorado Springs

Downtown Colorado Springs goes from "IMAGINE IF..." to "COMING SOON..."

Not only will an iconic downtown building get a much needed renovation, so will the entire city block it sits on.

The YMCA has been a staple in Colorado Springs for over 140 years. Since 1873, the Pikes Peak Region YMCA is the largest and longest operating 'Y' in the area. The YMCA has since grown to include multiple branch locations and off-site centers along the Front Range that serve over 125,000 people each year. The downtown facility is over a half-century old. This facility, along with others in the area, are about to receive some much needed TLC.

While the YMCA has been planning for their facility improvements, a more in-depth conversation ensued on the subject of growing community presence in downtown Colorado Springs. It no longer was just about renovating the Y but more about how to make this area a new 'hub' for resources. In a recently released Gazette Article, YMCA CEO Boyd Williams stated

We’re really, truly looking at this model being a collaborative model, so there could be potential partnerships alongside with us, whether it’s health care, a charter school potentially, other components.

In order to begin the process of this multi-phase capital campaign for the Pikes Peak YMCA, Boyd Williams brought on CRP Architects as the Program Managers for the "Imagine" Campaign. We have been working hand-in-hand with the organization to master plan the success of the downtown redevelopment, as well as other facilities in the Colorado Springs area. These include Garden Ranch and the future construction of a new East Branch along the Powers corridor.

The YMCA and CRP Architects are both extremely passionate about strengthening the Colorado Springs community. This proposal is bigger than just the remodel of Y facilities. It's about finding ways to centralize important resources and introduce a new presence in strengthening downtown Colorado Springs. This project is about encouraging collaboration, healthy recreation, wellness, education, business and the growth of a local economy. There will also be involvement with First Presbyterian Church next door in terms of shared facility and program opportunities. This project is about bringing an entirely re-imagined modern scale to the concept of a "community center."

Below are some architectural graphics depicting the beginning developments of each of these phases. All images below are initial CONCEPT images. CRP is working diligently alongside the YMCA and other partners on evolving architectural designs and program functions. These facilities will go through multiple iterations, so stay tuned for updates as the various projects move forward. Each project will be multi-phased and will have varying construction start and end dates, which are still to be determined. 


The downtown redevelopment project will include renovations and additions to the Y facility. This means improved amenities, addition of Group Exercise and Health & Wellness spaces, locker room remodel and a possible "sky box" running track surrounding a rooftop field. The block redevelopment will also include possible partnerships with a charter school, senior center, business/medical designations and food/retail establishments.


The Garden Ranch facility along Montebello Drive will undergo a multi-phase additional/remodel. This will include a new entrance lobby complete with added administration and member space. There are also plans for renovated Group Exercise areas as well as updates to the existing aquatics area.


While the East Branch is still in its earliest phases of development, it has been confirmed that the YMCA has purchased the existing iT'Z Family Food and Fun facility near Powers Boulevard and South Carefree Circle. The Y now acts as the landlord for this facility. While Williams hopes for the family center to remain a successful business for the time being, there is an opportunity for the building to be converted to a Y facility down the road. 

* Render graphics modeled and produced by Colleen Cassidy of CRP Architects, PC and Mike Esch of Jean Sebben Associates, LLC. All imagery is official property of CRP Architects and the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.

Reinventing High School

The school you never thought possible is coming soon...


The conversations are happening among Colorado educators and designers... How do we reinvent high school? How do we change our delivery methods and teaching models to better prepare our students to be influential members of a rapidly evolving society?

One charter school has tackled that challenge head-on, turning these questions into an active mission. Launch High School is new, free charter school in Colorado geared towards young entrepreneurs and business-minded high school students. They aim to redefine the high school education track and instill academic knowledge paired with real-world skills and an understanding of a student's role in a bigger community picture. Launch has envisioned an environment that allows students to create and capitalize on opportunities in pursuit of their passions towards social and economic prosperity.

This innovative program is personalized for each student, is project-based and focuses intensely on problem solving skills. The idea is to give students the essential tools for success so that they can define success in their own way that follows the direction of the future they want for themselves - whether that be academically, socially or financially.

A Launch-er embodies the powers of entrepreneurship, self-direction, passion, risk, innovation and tenacity. In compliance with the Post-Secondary & Workforce Ready (PWR) requirements, students will explore a wide array of technology, engineering, digital arts, business, health science, career planning and life skills courses in conjunction with core subject classes. Students are also given the opportunity to develop their own 'electives' and can pursue credits in an area of interest by utilizing community resources. Plus, could you imagine having started your first business AND received your high school diploma all at the same time? That dream is an everyday reality through the Launch High School program.


CRP Architects was brought on as the design team for the future home of Launch High School. While the program is being offered to 9th and 10th graders in August 2016 at a temporary location and then adding 11th and 12th graders by August 2018, the planning for this dynamic facility is underway. As a design team, we've been rapidly developing up-to-the-minute concepts. Together with Launch, we've been exploring the possibilities of combining 21st Century learning spaces, small/large collaboration spaces, presentation surfaces, private work areas, MakerSpace labs, access to technology and flexible rooms/furniture. In the world of education architecture, our firm has been researching the 'future of high school design' for years and are excited to see these conversations coming to life. Below are some preliminary schematic renderings developed for Launch to help drive the process of creating an environment for their programs to flourish and inspire. The official construction start date is still to be determined. 

Not a student but interested in getting involved?

Mentors, community members, volunteers or future board members can get connected HERE

PRESS RELEASE - December 18, 2015

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

Developing New Community Health Partnership and Service Delivery Framework

The YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services are entering into a strategic community-wide partnership to improve the health of the population throughout the Pikes Peak Region and enhance the value of both organizations. Each organization has unique competencies, workforce talent, physical footprint and share a common purpose in improving the health of our community. 

“The Y is thrilled to have Penrose-St. Francis as our Health Care System Partner of choice. Aligning our shared values and vision, the Y realizes that through collaborative efforts we can have a greater impact and meet the growing needs of our community,” said President and CEO of the Y, Boyd Williams. “The Y believes it is the premier organization to deliver transformational and sustainable well-being throughout the community. We want to help people become and stay healthy by using expertise from both organizations to provide access and services in a creative and impactful way.”

The vision is to merge these two world-class social platforms to nurture the health of our communities through new programs and services such as health risk assessments, screenings and employee wellness.

“We are excited to become the Health Care System Partner of the Y,” said Margaret Sabin, President and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. “The Tri-Lakes Health Pavilion in Monument opened earlier this year and embodies the structure and spirit that both Penrose-St. Francis and the Y wish to extend throughout the Pikes Peak Region.”

Penrose-St. Francis hopes to collaborate with the Y on programs and services at co-located facilities with services which may include chronic disease management, screenings, motivational coaching and many other programs.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Pikes Peak YMCA and Penrose-St. Francis

MEDIA CONTACT: AMY SUFAK - - 719.649.4279

Friday, December 18, 3 – 4 p.m.
downtown Colorado Springs at the YMCA Association offices, Margaret Sabin, president and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services and Boyd Williams, president & CEO of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, will be available for interviews. Call Amy Sufak 719.649.4279 to coordinate. 




The historic Guide Travel Building in downtown Colorado Springs not only represents the catalyst to CRP's birth but was also the firm's first home. Holger Christiansen, the founding principal, designed this geometrically aesthetic building in 1979 to house Colorado Springs' premier travel agency at the time as well as provide an office space for the architect himself.    

With its unique circular portico, the building stood out among the rest of the downtown street-scape. Attention to detail, honest materials and sharp geometry made for an engaging atmosphere, stirring an adventurous energy for travel-destined customers.

While the building may be from the hand-drawn era, the technology of its structure has withstood the test of time. Its presence still stands strong in our community after almost 40 years and multiple generations. As the travel industry transitioned to online bookings at the turn of the century, the space was molded to inhabit many different local businesses as the building's location is prime real estate in the downtown network. It's currently utilized by Michael F. Bennet - U.S. Senator of Colorado - for whom CRP also did the interior remodel for. 

New Construction Leads to New Possibilities

In the most recent publication of the Cheyenne Edition - released on December 11, 2015 - Walt Cooper (Superintendent of School District #12) discussed how the addition/remodel project at CMHS is allowing District 12 to implement new educational programs. Check out the article below or visit 

Exciting progress is being made on the construction of the Cheyenne Mountain High School Addition/Remodel project. Here are some action images straight from the site!

Building Community through Leadership

Last week, CRP's own Colleen Cassidy graduated from the LNOW! Class of 2015.

This is a five month program affiliated with Leadership Pikes Peak in which 30 young professionals in the Colorado Springs Region are selected to participate. Throughout the semester, they learn how to develop various leadership skills, understand their personal roles in a community, are educated on both the social and governmental assets of Colorado Springs and expand their business development networks. 

During their five months, these young professionals are also broken into four smaller project groups to complete a semester long deliverable for a local non-profit. Colleen worked alongside a team of seven individuals to create a case development campaign for the locally known Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI). CRP is also proud to announce that Colleen was voted by her peers as the recipient of the 2015 Community Trustee Award for her work on this project - going above and beyond throughout the duration of the project and exemplifying the traits of a community leader. 

Visit for more information on local happenings and leadership programs in the Pikes Peak area!