RTA Architects, an architectural and interior design firm based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been recognized with awards from the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) and the Colorado Chapter of the Society for Professional Marketing Services (SMPS).  A4LE Rocky Mountain recognized RTA’s design of the Lake City Community School Renovation and Addition in Lake City, Colorado, with the Summit Design Award, the highest honor in the Renovations category.  SMPS Colorado awarded RTA’s senior marketing manager Valerie Jackson with the 2020-2021 Marketer of the Year Award, one of the chapter’s highest individual honors.

         RTA’s design of the renovation and addition for the Lake City Community School was recognized for its comprehensive public planning process and design that enhanced security, health, and safety issues while maintaining the character of the historic school site and the neighborhood. 

         Although renovated and added on to over the decades, the aging Lake City Community School was in need of significant upgrades, with critical security, health, and safety concerns to address.  The lack of a gym was the most significant issue, as it was the only public school in the state of Colorado without a gym.  Students had to walk more than six blocks from the school to the downtown armory for physical education, posing significant safety concerns including the need for students to cross four intersections while enduring heavy tourist traffic, threats from local mountain wildlife, and cold winter weather.

         The new gymnasium addition was designed to create a unique facility for Lake City and to foster a sense of community pride.  It features a new weight and fitness room, basketball and volleyball courts, seating for approximately 300 spectators, and artwork from local artists.  The south wall of the gym opens up with garage doors to allow students and event visitors to spill outdoors.  Moveable bleachers allow for seating in front of the stage for school plays and musical performances, and the nearby commons includes concessions for event visitors.  The gym, with its locker rooms and showers, was also designed to serve as a community resource and may, as an example, host first responders in the event of a wildfire.  The renovations also included critical safety, security, and HVAC upgrades; construction of a career and technical education classroom; construction of a commercial kitchen to support a hot lunch program and culinary arts classes; and the addition of a nurse’s room.

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