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Bond construction begins at Heatherwood

 

March 20, 2019

Jennifer Simms

Heatherwood fifth grade band students, under the direction of Drew Iannuccillo (center left), practice in the Pit, a common area at the school. Thanks to funds from the BVDS Bond, this space will be remodeled over the summer into a collaborative learning space called the Den.

Heatherwood Elementary is getting a much-anticipated facelift thanks to a Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) bond approved by voters in 2014. This $6.2 million project broke ground in February, and the essential portions of the project will be completed in time for school to start this coming August.

During the renovation, the building will receive routine repair and maintenance, as well as security upgrades. Though these changes aren’t always visible, they are significant. “It’s important for the community to know that BVSD is investing in protecting the buildings and longevity of the schools,” explained Susan Cousins, communications specialist for the bond.

According to Cousins, the school will also receive energy efficiency upgrades as part of the district’s goal to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent in 10 years, with a stretch goal of zero net energy consumption by 2050. To improve efficiency, Heatherwood will receive new roofing insulation, new double pane windows, a high-efficiency boiler and an upgrade to LED lighting and solar tubes.

The renovation plans also include several improvements that will directly impact the teaching and learning experience. The largest change will be the addition of an additional preschool and kindergarten classroom. Inside the existing building, small-group workrooms will be created, and acoustic partitions will be added to the open floor plan, and teachers will receive an audio enhancement system, which will project their voice uniformly throughout the classroom.

Planning for the project began in 2012 when a BVSD Capital Improvement Committee met with principals and other stakeholders to determine renovation needs across the district. When it was time to plan the project at Heatherwood in 2018, a Design Advisory Team (DAT) of staff and parents met with project manager Charles Zachemsky to decide how to best use the funds. In addition, an innovation team of staff members met to decide how the school would spend the additional $200,000 grant given to each elementary school to support innovative instruction.

Jennifer Simms

This architectural rendering shows how the Den will look after the remodel is completed in time for the 2019-20 school year.

One proposal from the team was the transformation of the Pit, a central meeting space at the school, into the Den. According to Zachemsky, the Den will be a more collaborative and user-friendly environment. A ramp to provide wheelchair access to the gym, and nearby rooms, with sliding doors, which will provide breakout space for group activities and overflow space for community programs.

Second grade teacher Nicole Martini was part of DAT and is excited for the changes coming next school year. “We are getting some new classroom furniture which will really enhance learning and collaboration in every grade. Our spaces will be designed so kids can work together and learning can be shared. I also think they will LOVE the new playground equipment we are getting,” Martini said.

Cousins reminds the community that the school grounds will be closed for the summer. She also thanks them in advance for their patience, as she is certain the changes will be worthwhile.

For more information about the project visit https://bond.bvsd.org/projects/Heatherwood/Pages/default.aspx. Or email Charles Zachemsky with questions at [email protected]

 

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