At Aspen Country Day, a long road to remodel |

At Aspen Country Day, a long road to remodel

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times


What: Aspen Country Day School Campus Fest

When: Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Aspen Country Day School campus, 85 Country Day Way

Admission: Free and open to the public

For more information, email

As Aspen Country Day School prepares to host its Campus Fest event today in honor of its new campus, Country Day Director of Communications Carolyn Hines said it is more than a celebration of the school’s stunning new facilities.

“There was a time that it wasn’t really clear that we’d be able to stay here,” Hines said, referring to the shared campus between Aspen Country Day School and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

In the summer months, the music school students occupy the campus, located just off Castle Creek Road at the base of the western edge of Aspen Mountain.

During the academic year, the Country Day kiddos take over the lush, 22-acre campus, complete with two glistening ponds for students to canoe in during recess.

The campus was originally the site of a historic silver mine, Hines said, adding that during the 1950s it served as a nearby “day resort” for Hotel Jerome guests and locals to get away.

A group of parents seeking an “alternative education” for their children founded the school in 1969, Hines said, and leased the campus space from the Aspen Music Festival and School, which owned the property at the time.

With time and a history this rich, the campus facilities eventually became due for a remodel, Hines said.

Before Pitkin County issued the approvals, and before Aspen Country Day knew it would be able to raise the $35 million needed for the renovation, there was a period in which the school’s future was in question, she said.

“People really stuck with us through everything,” Hines said. “Families have a tremendous loyalty to the school.”

Through fundraising campaigns and the support of families and generous donors, the school was able to meet its goal in order to begin the first phase of the renovation, said Aspen Country Day Director of Advancement Mark Bell.

Phase 1 of the remodel, which was completed in June 2013, consisted of nine buildings in nine months, Hines said.

The second and final phase of the project was finished earlier this year, just in time for the music school students to enjoy this past summer.

The redevelopment cost a grand total of $70 million, split evenly between the two schools, and included new classroom buildings, a dining hall, a new gymnasium, a turf field and arts facilities.

Aspen Country Day School will celebrate the completion of its new campus, along with the sense of stability and possibility for its future, at its Campus Fest event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Targeted at families and children of all ages, Campus Fest will feature a book fair with Explore Booksellers, science explorations, magic shows, bounce houses and live music.

Aspen Country Day School’s new food service, Sage Dining, will prepare lunch items available for purchase at booths throughout the campus.

Campus Fest also will offer canoe rides on the ponds, face painting, open gymnasium, art projects and a scavenger hunt.

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