Construction begins on CBCS expansion

Shovels are in the dirt

[  By Kendra Walker  ]

The Gunnison Watershed School District has broken ground at all sites for its facilities improvements and expansion project, and construction will now ramp up as schools are out of session for the summer. The GWSD owner’s representative, Artaic Group, shared an update with the school board during a meeting on June 10. 

Construction has officially begun, and the district held groundbreaking ceremonies at each school site on May 30 and 31. The district recently received Board of Zoning and Architectural Review (BOZAR) approval for Crested Butte Community School (CBCS), and initial construction work this summer includes the playground and foundation for Phase 1. CBCS renovations will include the addition of 12 classrooms and removal of the modular classrooms, expanded cafeteria, new special education space, new STEAM spaces and science lab renovations and improved traffic flow. 

The district was also recently awarded two BEST grants totaling $5,292,000 from the Colorado Department of Education. Only 19 grants were awarded out of 52 total applications. 

A grant for $4,120,437 will go toward HVAC improvements at CBCS and Gunnison Community School, including replacing end of life equipment such as air handling units, boilers and water heaters. The other grant totaling $1,171,619 will help fund districtwide security improvements, including new secure vestibules, push lock buttons, door latch detection switches, security cameras and monitoring software.

“Some of those are such small details, but they make a really big impact,” said superintendent Leslie Nichols. “Those little things are going to have a positive impact on our teachers every single day.”

The project’s budget is now $120,481 in total available funds. With the additional grant funds being able to go toward HVAC and security items, the board in two weeks will consider approving funding for alternate items that were removed from the scope in previous design iterations. “These were identified way back when…now we have the opportunity to put them back in,” said board president Tyler Martineau. 

Artaic representatives shared that many items are still in the design phase, but that the process is moving fast and construction will take place throughout the summer and into the fall. “Your staff has been a huge aid to us, balancing educating students and facilitation construction at their facilities,” said John Usery of Artaic. 

For updates and information about each school expansion and improvements project, visit


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