Building the Future

10/5/2022

Bond Issue 4A provided a boost of funds for schools in Durango, including Mountain Middle School. Through funding provided in part by the bond, Mountain Middle School added an additional 12,000 square feet of classroom space - including an outdoor classroom, a digital Makerspace, and more. The new construction finished just in time to welcome the 300 students, staff, and teachers for the 2022-2023 school year. This story is sponsored by Serious Texas BBQ and 2180 Lighting and Design

Students at Mountain Middle School began the year with new space designed with the needs of the growing school, and creativity of the students in mind. Funded in part by $2.5 million raised by Durango taxpayers through the 4A Bond issue, the 12,000 square foot edition, both new classrooms for an increased student population, new teachers, and boundless creativity. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Serious Texas Barbecue and 2180 Lighting and Design. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

We have, let's see, seven new classrooms. We have a new staff development room, digital maker space with a green screen room and soundproof podcasting rooms, an art studio, fourth and fifth grade classrooms, four of those. And so, yeah, it's given us a lot of space to expand our enrollment, and expand our staff.

Student enrollment expanded by 60 students, bringing the total number at Mountain Middle School to 300 students. New teacher hires enable each classroom to have at least two teachers, aiding in one on one instruction for every student. The new classrooms have space for expanded technological capacities, providing more options for students.

So we've been doing digital maker space technology here for about a decade. And so it involves laser cutting, 3D printing, vinyl cutting, a lot of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, web design, coding. So we have all of that technology here on campus for about a decade. Now, with our new facility with the green screen room and podcasting rooms and such, we have a lot more space to do even more with our digital technology. So we've been one to one laptops for over 12 years now. And so letting the kids really take that to the next level with what we do with engineering is embedded in every core subject here. And so making products in our project based learning model is now going to be taken to the next level with our new facility.

The new addition is entirely carbon neutral. No gas lines go in or leave the space, and it's powered by solar energy. The roof is covered for outdoor classroom space, something that was incorporated during planning stages due to COVID influences. While the planning process began approximately two years ago, construction began this past summer, and finished just in time for school. Mountain Middle School hosts fourth through eighth grades, and uses project based curriculum. The funding has allowed Mountain Middle Schools to create a space that really is built for the needs of the school and the students, both for now, and moving forward into the future.

So just having this outdoor learning space on the rooftop, we're excited to have public exhibitions up here. Just more open air, dynamic ways to accelerate learning and optimize learning. The art studio is fantastic. The digital maker space is fantastic. The fourth and fifth grade classrooms are stunning. All new project based learning specific furniture has been purchased for those rooms. We've capped our class sizes at 20 students per class. And so that's also another way that we can create a sense of belonging and personalization for our students. And everything is being just designed to optimize learning.

Enrollment to the school is done by lottery and Voss recommends that interested parents and students take advantage of school tours that will be offered during the enrollment period beginning in January. To learn more about the school or to sign up to take a tour, visit the website at mountainmiddleschool.org. Thank you for watching this edition of The Local News Network. I'm Wendy Grahams Settle.

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