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Chipeta ES
950 Chipeta Ave
Grand Junction, CO 81501
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Chipeta Elementary was designed as a replacement school for a two-story facility (Columbine Elementary) that was originally constructed as a high school in 1926. In the intervening years, it had been converted to a junior high, then to an elementary school in 1970.

 

In 2004, in preparation for a bond election, the school district conducted a district-wide facility audit led by Anderson/Mason/Dale Architecture. The proposed bond was for the construction of new schools and retrofit/remodel of many of the existing ones. Through that process, Columbine Elementary was identified as a facility that did not adequately meet the instructional criteria of the district. Over $7.5 million dollars of improvements were identified in the audit to bring the building up to current instructional adequacy. At that time, the district decided it was not in the best interest of the district, or a wise use of tax dollars, to invest that much money into an aged building. It was decided that provided budget and opportunity, a new structure should be constructed to replace the old one.

 

In August, 2007, following the successful passage of a $109 million bond, design work began for the new Chipeta Elementary School. The district and the design team (Chamberlin Architects) solicited public and neighborhood input on the initial conceptual design. A major consideration was the architectural fit within the community, as the school to be replaced had been a centerpiece for one of the oldest downtown established neighborhoods.

 

One of the first obstacles to overcome was the site itself. Columbine Elementary sat on a 3.67 acre site in a downtown location and had to remain occupied as an elementary school during the construction of the new building. The only location available for the new construction was directly over the site of an older school building that had been demolished approximately 40 years prior. The foundation remained buried along with asbestos contamination within an abandoned utility tunnel. Excavation of the abandoned tunnel and foundation required careful coordination among the abatement contractor, civil engineers, and the excavation contractor. With the occupied building less than 30 feet from the area of excavation, extra care had to be taken to minimize the disturbance to classes in session. Unforeseen groundwater also added to the complexity of the excavation and the construction of the new foundation.

 

An unanticipated yet positive aspect of Chipeta being constructed so close to an occupied building was the inclusion of the construction processes into the curriculum of the Columbine students. Teachers and administrators incorporated the activity next door into their daily instruction. Classes were allowed to tour the site periodically to observe firsthand what goes into the construction of a building and how they could see relevancy in what they were learning when applied to a real life scenario.

 

The City of Grand Junction requested a partnership with the school district early in the design phase, to provide them an opportunity to offer evening and weekend recreational activities for the residents within the Chipeta Elementary area. Their inclusion in the early phase of the project resulted in additional funding from their general fund to expand the gymnasium and multi-purpose areas for afterhours community use. The gym also received a hardwood floor that was not in the original design, which is a significant upgrade to the planned elastomeric flooring in a typical elementary gym. Also as part of the intergovernmental agreement, the City of Grand Junction took on the responsibility of maintaining the grounds at Chipeta Elementary as part of their parks and recreation programs.

 

Chipeta Elementary was designed and constructed with the goal of attaining silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Because of this commitment, a number of sustainable features were incorporated into the building:
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Environmental site assessment with hazardous materials remediation
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Shower/changing facilities for staff who elect to bicycle to school
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Preferred parking for low-emission vehicles
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Parking lot at minimum size to reduce heat island effect
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Large vegetated area incorporating existing trees
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Highly reflective roofing membrane to reduce heat island effect
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Interior and exterior lighting designed to reduce light pollution
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Metered faucets, waterless urinals, and low flow toilets to reduce water consumption
-- Included an enhanced building commissioning process to ensure all systems were operating at designed parameters
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Eliminated the use of CFC refrigerants
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Utilized high efficiency mechanical equipment
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Installed a 10 kW photovoltaic system for site-produced renewable energy
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Utilized Xcel Energy's building modeling program during the design phase to calculate savings generated by different systems or methods
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Engaged in 2-year commitment to purchase renewable energy from Xcel's Windsource energy program
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Diverted at least 50 percent of construction waste from the landfill
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Used at least 10 percent recycled building materials
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Used wood certified to be grown and harvested in a sustainable way
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Designed classrooms and core learning areas to be exceptionally quiet
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Installed carbon dioxide sensors in HVAC system to ensure delivery of proper amount of outside air for ventilation
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Used low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints, carpeting, and plywood that do not emit noxious gasses
-- Provided multiple-level lighting controls
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Use of low-impact cleaning supplies
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Incorporated sustainable features in curriculum

 

In December 2009, Chipeta ES earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance with an energy performance score of 84, a site energy intensity of 58, and a source energy intensity of 129 kBtu.

Chipeta Elementary was designed as a replacement school for a two story facility (Columbine Elementary) that was originally constructed as a high school in 1926. In the intervening years, it had been converted to a junior high, then to an elementary school in 1970.

            In 2004, in preparation for a bond election, the school district conducted a district wide facility audit led by Anderson/Mason/Dale Architecture. The proposed bond was for the construction of new schools and retrofit/remodel of many of the existing ones. Through that process, Columbine Elementary was identified as a facility which did not adequately meet the instructional criteria of the district. Over $7.5 million dollars of improvements were identified in the audit in order to bring the building up to current instructional adequacy. At that time, the district decided it was not in the best interest of the district, or wise use of tax to invest that much money into an aged building. It was decided that provided budget and opportunity a new structure should be constructed to replace the old one.

            In August, 2007 following the successful passage of the $109 million bond, design work began for the new Chipeta Elementary. The district and the design team (Chamberlin Architects) solicited public and neighborhood input on the initial conceptual design. A major consideration was the architectural fit within the community, as the school to be replaced had been a centerpiece for one of the oldest downtown established neighborhoods.

            One of the first obstacles to overcome was the site itself. Columbine Elementary sat on a 3.67 acre site in a downtown location, and had to remain occupied as an elementary school during the construction of the new building. The only location available for the new construction was directly over the site of an older school building that had been demolished approximately forty years prior. The foundation remained buried along with asbestos contamination within an abandoned utility tunnel. Excavation of the abandoned tunnel and foundation required careful coordination between the abatement contractor, civil engineers and the excavation contractor. With the occupied building less than 30 from the area of excavation, extra care had to be taken to minimize the disturbance to classes in session. Unforeseen groundwater also added to the complexity of the excavation and the construction of the new foundation.

            An unanticipated yet positive aspect of Chipeta being constructed so close to an occupied building, was the inclusion of the construction processes into the curriculum of the Columbine students. Teachers and administrators incorporated the activity next door into their daily instruction. Classes were allowed to tour the site periodically to observe firsthand what goes into the construction of a building and how they could see relevancy in what they were learning when applied to a real life scenario.

            The City of Grand Junction requested a partnership with the school district early in the design phase, to provide them an opportunity to offer evening and weekend recreational activities for the residents within the Chipeta Elementary area. Their inclusion in the early phase of the project resulted in additional funding from their general fund to expand the gymnasium and multi-purpose areas for afterhours community use. The gym also received a hardwood floor that was not in the original design, which is a significant upgrade to the planned elastomeric flooring in a typical elementary gym. Also as part of the intergovernmental agreement, the City of Grand Junction took on the responsibility of maintaining the grounds at Chipeta Elementary as part of their parks and recreation programs.

            Chipeta Elementary was designed and constructed with the goal of LEED silver certification. Because of this commitment, a number of sustainable features were incorporated into the building:

 

            In December 2009, Chipeta ES earned the ENERGY STAR building label with a Portfolio Manager score of 84, a site energy intensity of 58 and a source energy intensity of 129 kBtu.

Communications:

Stories were aired on the local news during Earth Day about this school's LEED design, and its environmental and human occupant benefits. Additionally, television news covered GT students from Chipeta ES and two other local elementary schools who worked on project based curriculum at this new school last school year.

Testimonial:

"Students from the old school were brought over during construction to learn about green building and their new school."
-- Cal Clark, Director of Maintenance and Operations, Mesa County School District #51


Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Mesa County Valley School District #51 or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Building Owner:*
Mesa County Valley School District #51

Property Manager:*
Mesa County Valley School District 51

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2009 (84)

Facility Type: K-12 School

Total Floorspace: 48320 sf

Year Constructed: 2008

Contract Type: Single Turn-Key Contract

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant
   Other Technologies/Strategies

For More Info:
Eric Anderson
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-254-5208
eanderso@mesa.k12.co.us