Long-awaited funding from the State of Colorado is proving to be the final component needed to launch the construction of a modern new middle school in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Colorado’s Building Excellent Schools Today program has just announced that it is awarding a $13.9 million matching grant to build a new Orchard Mesa Middle School.
That building will replace the existing Orchard Mesa Middle School at 2736 C Road, a one-story, 60,000 square-foot brick structure that was built in the 1950s.
That building, according to district officials, has a series of structural issues, including a leaky roof and outdated HVAC system.
The new school will go up on the south side of the current school site. Upon completion, the older building will be demolished.
The move to put up a new school in Colorado’s School District 51, which encompasses Mesa County, gained momentum last November when district voters approved a bond and mill levy measure to fund the project.
The new two-story 100,000 square-foot school, as designed by the Grand Junction-based Blythe Group, will feature adaptable learning spaces, hallways with seating options, and an auxiliary gym.
Although the structure is being built to accommodate up to 600 students, the design will allow for future facility expansion.
Plans call for work on the new school to begin later this summer, with a December 2019 completion date.
By Garry Boulard
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