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  Nikola Tesa Educational Opportunity School, Page 54Nikola Tesa Educational Opportunity School
Architect 
DLR Group, Inc. 
525 North Cascade, #200, Colorado Springs, CO 80903


Location: 
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Total Square Feet: 77,965
Construction Period: May 1998 to July 1999

Construction Team
General Contractor: Hughes/Smith General Contractor - 3509 N. Prospect, Colorado Springs, CO 80933
Structural Engineer: MGA Structural Engineers - 115 S. Weber, #101, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Electrical Engineer: Farnsworth Group, Nietz Avanti - 5585 Erindale Dr., #202, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Mechanical Engineer: SEC Systems Engineering Corp. - 720 W. Monument, #100, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Civil Engineer: URS Corp. - 8415 Explorer Drive, #110, Colorado Springs, CO 80920


Two features of this alternative school stand out as quite unique. It accommodates the needs of the middle school student in a structured alternative school environment, and it provides space for a district-wide staff development center.

District 11 recognized that a growing number of ninth and tenth grade students needed to participate in the district's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) which provides a more structured academic environment than a standard middle or high school. This program was previously housed in a renovated elementary school.

After passage of a bond issue, District 11 contracted with DLR Group to provide planning and design services for a facility to accommodate these students as well as junior/senior level pupils.

One of the goals of the EOP is to address the student's need for personalized and small group instruction. The teacher/student ratio is 15 to 1, therefore classrooms are up to 50% smaller than standard classrooms. Classes are taught in the traditional lecture format in classrooms with permanent walls. The facility has no gymnasium, pool or athletic facilities in the hopes that students who would like to participate in those activities will modify their behavior in order to return to the standard middle or high school.

The parenting program on the lower level provides on-site daycare which allows students that are parents to bring their children to school. Space is also provided for these students to learn parenting skills.

The building has three entrances to accommodate the high school population, middle school, and staff development areas. 

The staff development area contains a resource training center, auditorium, banquet-size kitchen facilities, meeting rooms, and CCTV to broadcast seminars/workshops to adjacent meeting rooms. The placement of a staff development area in this facility to serve the entire district was devised as a cost savings measure and to avoid the construction of a separate structure.

Initial landscaping was minimal. The program encourages "ownership" of the school by the students and allowed them to develop and install the landscaping plan. A retaining wall near the school was left blank for the purpose of allowing students to paint a mural of their choice.

Manufacturers/Suppliers
Roof - Built-Up: Tamko Roofing Products.
Floors - Rubber Tile: Marley Flexco.
Interior Walls - Operable Panels, Accordion Partitions: Panelfold.


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