Aspen Country Day movin’ on up to the West End
August 21, 2012
ASPEN – Less than 24 hours after Sunday’s close of the Aspen Music Festival and School season, demolition was under way at the music school’s campus on Castle Creek, and construction had begun at the Aspen Meadows campus, home to Aspen Country Day School for the coming school year.
The music school and Country Day long have shared the scenic campus on Castle Creek, but with extensive redevelopment set to occur before the music festival returns in June, Country Day is setting up a home away from home in Aspen’s West End.
Double-wide trailers that will serve as classrooms this winter were being delivered Monday in the Gillespie Street parking lot near the Benedict Music Tent. Eighteen halves that will make nine buildings were trucked up from Denver. Shaw Construction will connect the halves and hook them up to utilities. Stairs, ramps and decks, all constructed off-site, will be added to the structures, six of which will sit in the Gillespie lot. There will be three others in the lot behind the Music Tent.
Time is tight for the preparations. School starts Sept. 4 for the roughly 200 students in preschool through eighth grade who attend the private school.
“We’re all scrambling,” said Carolyn Hines, director of advancement and communications for Country Day.
Still, the school is used to packing and unpacking.
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“We’re pretty good at this,” Hines said. “In any normal year, we do pack up the entire school and store it for the summer and bring it back in the fall.”
Such is the arrangement that allows the Castle Creek campus to accommodate both the music school and Country Day.
Still, moving into the Meadows campus is a new twist, and it’s an exciting one, according to Hines.
The school will make use of parts of the Boettcher Building and the Music Tent. During particularly inclement weather, the music-tent stage might host physical education.
“We will have a mostly outside, very creative PE program,” Hines said.
The Harris Concert Hall lobby will perform double duty as the school cafeteria, with food preparation taking place in a separate kitchen housed in a trailer. Drama classes and occasional musical performances will employ the Harris Hall stage.
“It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. For a school of our size to be able to use a premier concert hall is pretty remarkable,” she said.
A free school bus, a shuttle for teachers and carpooling will be employed to help reduce traffic in the West End, but the tranquil neighborhood will see something it hasn’t experienced in great quantities lately – youthful exuberance.
“The best part of this whole process has been older residents telling me they’re looking forward to kids in the neighborhood,” Hines said.