The Neenan Company Celebrates Completion of Yuma School District Renovation

Yuma High School library. Photo courtesy of The Neenan Company.

Fort Collins-based design-build firm The Neenan Company recently led the architecture and construction for the district-wide renovation project for Yuma School District in northeast Colorado, including the district’s high school and pre-K–8 school buildings. The project provides 85,000 square feet of modernized education space with enhanced safety and security, supporting the 900 pre-K-12th-grade students.

“Seeing our vision come to life is rewarding beyond words. Every single student in our district, plus those in the decades to come, will benefit from this project,” said Dianna Chrisman, superintendent of Yuma School District. “We began coordinating with The Neenan Company in 2018 to begin our master planning and the efforts behind our successful bond campaign. Our teams have partnered to pour years of thoughtful planning into this project, and we are eager to celebrate this worthwhile journey with our community.”

Yuma High School, located at 1000 South Albany Street, features significant upgrades to 42,480 square feet of the former facility, an 18,605-square-foot new wing for expanded academic programming and a 12,465-square-foot auxiliary gym addition. Breaking ground in June 2020, the high school’s updated facilities now include a more easily identifiable and pronounced main entry and administrative area, plus a thorough revamp of the electronic security system throughout the campus, to increase safety and security precautions.

With a modernized facility to support expanded academic programs, the new wing provides capacity for the high school’s science and STEM programs and brings the Career Technical Education (CTE) program into the main building. Designed for collaboration across programs that will incorporate CTE projects into other courses, the renovated school delivers a maker’s space dedicated to the robotics club; a technology resource room for all programs to utilize; updated space for the agricultural science and metal/woodworking shop classes; and flexible space that can accommodate new future programming for the district.  

All classrooms in the high school have been reconfigured with upgrades to HVAC and electrical systems, in addition to moving the majority of the classrooms to the building’s exterior walls for improved natural lighting. Each subject features its own collaborative hub space, with academic displays incorporated in order to celebrate students’ academic achievements in balance with the traditional display cases for school athletics. The project also delivers a newly designed commons area, cafeteria, library, practice and physical education gymnasium, and weight room.

Yuma School District’s second project features a renovated pre-K–8th-grade school, located at 500 South Elm Street. Neenan focused on safety enhancements for the school and the overall building site, adding a bus loop for improved foot traffic at student drop-off points. Neenan also remodeled approximately 11,000 square feet of classrooms and a warming kitchen.

“This project reflects the core of what we aim to achieve with Neenan’s education-focused design-build expertise: delivering schools that give educators and students a foundation to thrive,” said David Kurtz, senior architect at The Neenan Company. “With the efficiencies generated from our design-build process, we were able to expand the project’s scope and ultimately deliver greater value to Yuma School District, all amid the challenging demands placed on both education and project job sites throughout the past two years.”

The Collaborative for High-Performance Schools (CHPS) certified project was funded in part by the voter-passed bond measure. The State of Colorado’s BEST Grant Program provided funding for the project, with the district selected as the recipient of a 2019 grant to enhance the safety and security of the schools.

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