Transformation

THE AWAITED OPENING OF CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN HS

GRAND OPENING CEREMONY

August 27, 2016

The opening of Phase 1 of the remodel/addition project was commenced with a ceremonial ribbon cutting in August 2016. While the school colors are maroon and white, the ribbon-cutting was performed with a blue ribbon to celebrate the honor CMHS holds of being a Blue Ribbon School (a prestigious qualification status awarded by the U.S. Department of Education).

Phase 2 was finished in December of 2016, which concluded the entirety of the Cheyenne Mountain Remodel/Addition project. Below is a gallery of images from the grand opening and the finished project, as well as a "look-book" of the design, construction and creative process.



The New Look has everyone asking... "What makes it the Same Mountain?"

At the grand opening, CRP released a commemorative design "look-book" with in-depth information on the school's long-awaited transformation. The booklet includes project facts, insight into the design development, ways that the traditional culture was incorporated into the new facility, building floor plans and more. If you'd like to view or download a PDF version for yourself, click the link below. Or email colleen@crparchitects.com to have one sent to you.

ACCESS/DOWNLOAD PDF COPY HERE


UPDATES SINCE THE NEW SCHOOL OPENED:


It was a privilege to work with such talented contractors on this project. Check out this informational project video produced by GE Johnson below.


HALLWAYS BROUGHT TO LIFE THROUGH MUSIC

The best part of our job is watching spaces come to life in ways we could never have imagined on the drawing board. Our newly finished CMHS project is featured as the backdrop to this student-directed music video of the 2017 CHSAA State Champion A Cappella group, Crimson & Slate! Such an honor to see such talent walk, and dance, through these hallways. However, one of the best frames in this video isn't even in a hallway... so make sure to watch through the end! 

What's the future for the Pikes Peak Region YMCA?

BIG changes are coming!

The YMCA has launched a Capital Campaign project that will become a catalyst for new opportunities.

How will it impact the growth and development of our Colorado Springs communities?

How can WE be a part of it?

YES! If you haven't heard it already, there's quite the buzz circulating about some big changes for Colorado Springs in relation to the efforts of the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region. For a redevelopment movement of this scale, it's only fitting that we have highly influential community members helping make the important calls on the future of our city-scape. This team of volunteers is leading the charge on funding efforts for the three Capital Campaign projects: Downtown YMCA, Garden Ranch YMCA and the new East Branch YMCA. The 1st convening of this committee has taken place and momentum is rapidly building behind these high-profile projects, which will total nearly $100 million in remodel and new construction work. These projects will also include collaborations with various partnerships.

As a valued neighbor and fellow voice of this community, not only will you benefit from the new and improved YMCA facilities and partnerships but you also have the opportunity to be an active force in this monumental development. YOU can make a difference in the places we live, work and play. Support strengthens the possibilities of how far this vision can reach. Whether you'd like to help with the Capital Campaign or support its journey through various methods, you can express your interest in getting involved by registering HERE

Stay connected with CRP Architects and the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region for upcoming information on project start dates, Capital Campaign progress, confirmed partnerships and updates on architectural renderings and plans for these community facilities.


Take one last look at the Downtown YMCA...

... because it will soon take on a whole new identity while playing an integral role in BUILDING COMMUNITY.

Transformation/Throwback Thursday: SAME MOUNTAIN | NEW LOOK

This long awaited transformation went underway in planning back in April 2014. Over two years later, Cheyenne Mountain High School's new look is rapidly taking shape as we near its final completion in 6 months.

A Colorado Springs school district with a high school facility built over 60 years ago is anxious for the completion of their new 21st Century home nestled along the historic Cheyenne Mountain range. Below are some then/now comparison images taken before the school went under construction, compared to their current redevelopment stage.  

The old school lacked the identity of a main entrance. The new entrance fuses the existing gym and the new academic wing and acts as a 'lantern' for the school. (Image from 8-17-16)

THEN (left) - NOW (right)

The new student commons, located where the old patio used to be, offers the opportunity for fresh air and a connection to nature. Multiple exits & glass garage doors allow for all-day access to the outdoors for students. The new commons patio also has access to power and electricity to allow for outdoor concerts, school events, etc. (After Image updated on 8-24-16)

In both images, the wall to the far right is the wall leading into the auditorium. The space was extended out and enclosed to form the new student commons and auditorium main entrance. (After Image updated on 8-3-16)

The difference in the corridors is drastic. No more fluorescent lights and narrow passageways! And unlike the original facility, all corridors will now have access to natural light and outdoor views. (After Image updated on 8-19-16)

WHAT'S BEEN DONE?

  • 105,000 sf of NEW space for the high school
  • Nearly 100,000 sf of existing space is remodeled
  • EVERY classroom will be brand new by January 2017
  • Expanded social circulation corridors (12+ ft wide) 
  • Separate, private corridors for access to classrooms
  • Access to natural light in hallways and classrooms
  • Improved safety with a single, secured access point (the floorplan of the old school had over 120 unlocked and accessible doors at all times of day - Now, after the first bell rings, there will only be ONE public accessible door monitored by a security checkpoint)  
  • Safer/more accessible student parking and new pick up/drop off round-about zone
  • New 8,700 sf student commons with glass garage doors to exterior courtyard
  • An iconic 'front door' - giving the school a much needed, identified main entrance
  • A 'mountain modern' design aesthetic themed throughout the entire project
  • New energy-efficient mechanical systems with air conditioning and heating
  • Personalized classroom/community 'pods' for each department in the entire school
  • New baseball field and new softball field
  • Pieces and concepts from the old school are tied into the new additions (stay tuned as the project develops to learn about how we integrated parts of CMHS history and tradition into the new design)

Students and faculty will move into the Phase 1 buildings in August of 2016... Phases 2 (additional academic wings) will be completed by December 2016! Phase 2 will conclude the entirety of the project.


You may be wondering 'when will we start seeing green?'. As designers, a characteristic of the original school we worked hard to protect was access to natural environments. One feature students have always appreciated about CMHS was the ability to be outdoors in the refreshing mountain air throughout the day. The new design improves overall safety, yet maintains the integrity of this desire by enclosing the largest outdoor courtyard (over 51,000 sf in size) in the state of Colorado. Students will be able to walk outside between classes, enjoy time outside the common's garage doors during lunch, do homework at the outdoor bar-height tables and set up concerts outside with access to electricity/power on the patios - all within the safety of the new campus. It may have a 'new look' but students will still have the same exterior connection they love. While construction progress images don't show it quite yet, we have vibrant visions for new landscaping that will lusciously shape the entire school grounds. Working side by side with Thomas & Thomas, our plans for green space will begin development soon! Click on the images below for a glimpse at the outdoor concepts.


STOP! Let's not forget about #THROWBACKTHURSDAY

As CRP Architects and GE Johnson begin demolition of existing facilities to make way for the new academic wings, we are reminded of some of the unique applications from the past. These 'traffic lights' were originally custom designed to replace a traditional bell system so that local wildlife would not be disturbed by hourly high-pitched bell tones. Only in Colorado. Some alumni have been reminiscing on pieces of Cheyenne history as they prepare to see what new traditions unfold while honoring the ones now retired. 

remember.jpg
The “traffic light” encasements scattered throughout the halls stood as a sentinel directing the movements and attention of Cheyenne Mountain High School students throughout the day. There were no bells to signal the end of a class or beginning of a new day. In 1962, the light system was devised to ensure the wildlife surrounding the “new” hillside school would not be disturbed. Bear, mountain lions and deer were common visitors to the school grounds. We governed our social and academic lives through careful surveillance of the light boxes. Laughter and talking would fill the halls as we would all gather between classes. Yet out of the corner of our eye, we would check to see which light was shining. Once the red light started blinking, all socialization ceased as we would scatter to our classroom knowing we only had one minute to get situated into our desks. Then throughout class, our eyes would fixate on the light directing us to how much longer we would need to endure the lecture, complete the test or finalize our experiment. Yellow meant we had 20 minutes left, green gave us hope as it indicated 10 minutes of class remained. And then, the glorious red light would appear celebrating the end of class. Then the routine would begin again. The lights may have come down with the “new-new” school, but the integrity, the traditions and the exceptional education provided to the students will always remain. The redesigned and updated facility will illuminate the lives of hundreds of children for many years to come.
— CMHS Alum, Class of 1981

Special thanks to Cheyenne alum - AGL Drone Services for the progress footage updates!