Aspen Music Festival, Country Day to develop, share campus |

Aspen Music Festival, Country Day to develop, share campus

ASPEN – The Aspen Music Festival and School and Aspen Country Day School have reached an agreement to develop and permanently share the Castle Creek campus where both have offered classes to their respective students for decades.

The two organizations will share in the cost of what’s estimated as a $60 million redevelopment, raising funds in separate campaigns, they announced jointly on Tuesday.

The agreement provides for construction of more than 10 new buildings in three phases, starting in August with a new Lower School building for Country Day (it will function as studios and classrooms for the music school) and two rehearsal halls for music students (learning centers for the arts for Country Day). A historic building on the campus will be renovated and restored for use as a student center for musicians in the summer.

Site work has already begun. During the first year and the heaviest construction, Country Day will relocate to the Aspen Meadows campus – an arrangement already approved by the Aspen City Council. Two further phases of construction will bring a new dining hall, a large rehearsal hall/gymnasium, administrative offices for the music school, playing fields, practice rooms and more studios/classrooms.

The 23-acre site along Castle Creek, south of Aspen, was given to the Aspen Music Festival and School by the late Robert O. Anderson in 1964. Aspen Country Day School began leasing it immediately after the founding of the private day school in 1969. The arrangement proved beneficial to both organizations, with Country Day taking over the facilities each September, after the summer music festival had ended.

Sharing the campus, rather than developing two separate campuses for each institution, provides for the greatest efficiency and least environmental impact, the two schools noted in a statement. Almost all of the buildings will have dual use, eliminating the time they would sit empty on separate campuses.

The two organizations first began serious discussions about entering into a joint redevelopment in 2002, and Pitkin County commissioners approved the plan for new facilities in 2008. However, negotiations over the phasing of construction and Country Day’s long-term stake in the property were protracted. Country Day was looking at other options at one point.

The agreement extends for 100 years with provisions for renewal, making the partnership essentially permanent, according to the statement.

“This agreement represents the culmination of literally tens of thousands of hours of work that have been invested to assure the most elegant possible partnership between our two organizations,” said Alan Fletcher, president and CEO of the music festival.

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