AHS Receives Grant to Build New School

07/14/2020

Animas High School received a $13.7 million grant from the Colorado Department of Education to build a new high school at a new location. Watch the story to find out where!

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FUTURE ANIMAS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS WHO WANT TO EARN COLLEGE CREDIT AT FORT LEWIS COLLEGE WON'T HAVE TO DRIVE ACROSS TOWN. THEY'LL JUST HAVE TO WALK ACROSS  CAMPUS. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE OVERLOOK AT EDGEMONT HIGHLANDS. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCED IN LATE JUNE THAT IT HAS AWARDED ANIMAS HIGH SCHOOL A $13.7 MILLION BEST GRANT TO BUILD A NEW HIGH SCHOOL ON THE FORT LEWIS COLLEGE CAMPUS. IN WHAT IS BELIEVED TO BE THE FIRST-EVER COLLABORATION OF ITS KIND IN COLORADO, THE CHARTER SCHOOL AND COLLEGE HAVE AGREED IN PRINCIPAL TO LOCATE THE NEW SCHOOL SOUTH OF THE BADER SNYDER RESIDENCE HALLS AND TO SHARE PHYSICAL AND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES.BY BEING UP AT THE, UP THE CAMPUS AND ALLOWS OUR STUDENTS LITERALLY TO WALK ACROSS THE STREET AND TAKING THEIR IN-ROOM CLASSES. WHEREAS RIGHT NOW, IT'S ESSENTIALLY ABOUT A HALF A DAY'S WORTH OF THEM NOT BEING ON, ON OUR CAMPUS IN ORDER TO GET UP TO FORT LEWIS COLLEGES FOR ONE CLASS. SO THAT'S BEEN A MAJOR BARRIER AND, YOU KNOW, THEY CAN DO THAT. WE CAN WORK WITH THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT SPECIFICALLY. YOU KNOW, WE ALREADY HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM, BUT AGAIN, THEY COULD WALK ACROSS THE STREET AND DO OBSERVATION HOURS AT OUR SCHOOL. THEY CAN BRING IN SOME OF THE NEW RESEARCH THAT THEIR UNDERGRADUATES AND GRADUATES ARE GOING THROUGH AND IDEALLY USE THIS AS A LAB SCHOOL. BUT I'D ALSO SAY, YOU KNOW, WITH US BEING UP AT THEIR CAMPUS, WE CAN START COLLABORATING WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS. JUST BECAUSE WE ARE RIGHT THERE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY AND SEE, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE THOSE PARTNERSHIPS THAT AGAIN, CAN HELP THEIR UNDERGRADUATES AND GRADUATES WHILE ALSO HELPING US, AND HAVING THAT CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS, WITH OUR STUDENTS, BUT THEN ALSO WITH OUR TEACHERS.THE PROPOSED A H S CAMPUS WILL BE LOCATED ON TALON DRIVE IN A WOODED AREA KNOWN AS THE POINT OR THE OLD JAYCEE CAMPGROUND. THE LAND NOW IS USED FOR A DISC GOLF COURSE, A TRAINING GROUND FOR THE COLLEGE'S MOUNTAIN BIKE TEAM, AND AS AN OUTDOOR LAB FOR COLLEGE SCIENCE PROGRAMS. THE COLLEGE HAS AGREED IN PRINCIPAL TO PROVIDE THE HIGH SCHOOL WITH A LONG-TERM, LOW-COST LEASE SIMILAR TO THE LEASES IT HAS WITH THE CITY OF DURANGO FOR THE CITY'S RECREATION FACILITIES. THE 11-YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL NOW IS LOCATED IN TWO MODULAR BUILDINGS ON LAND LEASED FROM THE TWIN BUTTES DEVELOPMENT WEST OF DOWNTOWN DURANGO. THE EXISTING CAMPUS HAS NO FOOD SERVICE OR PHYSICAL EDUCATION FACILITIES. ANIMAS HIGH SCHOOL IS PREPARED TO HIRE AN OWNER REPRESENTATIVE AND ARCHITECT TO DEVELOP CONSTRUCTION PLANS BASED ON THE MASTER PLAN THE SCHOOL COMPLETED IN FEBRUARY 2019. CONSTRUCTION ON THE NEW BUILDING IS EXPECTED TO TAKE UP TO TWO YEARS WITH AN OPENING DATE SCHEDULED FOR NO LATER THAN FALL 2023, BECAUSE THE BEST GRANT MUST BE USED WITHIN THREE YEARS OF ITS AWARD. TOTAL COST FOR THE BUILDING IS ESTIMATED AT $20 MILLION. ANIMAS HIGH SCHOOL WILL LAUNCH A FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGN FOR A PORTION OF THE $7 MILLION CONSTRUCTION BALANCE, SEEK ADDITIONAL GRANTS, SELL ITS ASSETS AT TWIN BUTTES, AND MAY ASK FOR A PORTION OF THE REVENUES FROM A PROPOSED DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R REFERENDUM TO EXTEND ITS CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION BONDS THAT VOTERS ORIGINALLY APPROVED IN 2002. HEAD OF SCHOOL SEAN WOYTEK SAID THE MOVE TO FORT LEWIS IS A NATURAL EXTENSION OF THE COLLABORATION THE TWO INSTITUTIONS ALREADY HAVE. THE HIGH SCHOOL USES FORT LEWIS COLLEGE SCIENCE LABS FOR INSTRUCTION, FORT LEWIS EDUCATION STUDENTS OBSERVE CLASSES AND COMPLETE THEIR STUDENT-TEACHING REQUIRMENTS AT THE HIGH SCHOOL. AND ANIMAS HIGH STUDENTS ENROLL IN COLLEGE-LEVEL CLASSES AS PART OF THE STATE'S CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT PROGRAM. THE TWO INSTITUTIONS ALSO CAN SHARE RESOURCES LIKE FOOD SERVICE, PHYSICAL EDUCATION FACILITIES, THE LIBRARY AND CUSTODIAL AND MAINTENANCE SERVICES. HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE OFFICIALS ANTICIPATE ADDITIONAL EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS ACROSS DISCIPLINES.SO WE'RE JUST AT THE INFANCY OF FIGURING OUT WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES THAT WE CAN DO, FROM AN ACADEMIC PERSPECTIVE, CERTAINLY AS, YOU KNOW, UTILIZING FACILITIES, UTILIZING CLASSROOMS, BUT ALSO AS A PIPELINE FOR THEIR STUDENTS TO REALLY BE INVOLVED WITH THE HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERIENCE FOR THEIR SCHOOL. YOU KNOW, WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT COULD BE INNOVATIVE THAT, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, DOESN'T EXIST ANYWHERE ELSE IN COLORADO, AND REALLY, HOPEFULLY, CAN MAYBE SET A NEW BAR FOR COLLABORATION BETWEEN K-12 EDUCATION AND HIGHER ED.IF YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ANIMAS HIGH SCHOOL'S PLANS TO BUILD A NEW CAMPUS OR TO REVIEW ITS FACILITIES MASTER PLAN, VISIT ANIMAS HIGH SCHOOL DOT COM. THANKS FOR WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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