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farm school
“Peter's wonderful level of creativity combined with his intense attention to detail provided the perfect combination for this project. I could not have asked for better service, and I highly recommend Ewers Architecture.”
~Katy Myers, assistant head of school

"It's da bomb, man"
~7th grade student

Once in a while we are blessed with a project that is exciting and fun as well as rewarding and meaningful. This is such a project. From beginning to end, the design and construction for this Jefferson County charter school has fulfilled everyone’s dreams.
This new campus for seventh through twelfth graders was envisioned from the beginning as two separate buildings. The middle school is a farm school where the students raise livestock and crops as well as learn classroom basics. The high school is geared toward more mature self-learning students, in a professional and exciting environment.
This project was a challenge on many levels throughout design and construction. The two major challenges were to meet the schedule and budget.
Schedule: This project was designed in just over four months, including dealing with the county officials to obtain all the necessary approvals. Then the project was built in just six months. This was accomplished by hiring the contractor early in the design process, ordering the steel building during the design development phase, and everyone working as a team.
Budget: The project was built for about $90 per square foot, while other Jefferson County schools were being built for $110/sf.
Fun fact: This is the first Montessori high school built from the ground up in the United States. There are only a handful of Montessori high schools in the U.S., and all the other schools were operating out of buildings that were originally designed for other uses.


location: 4441 Salvia Street
Golden, Colorado
date completed: 2002
total area: 31,135sf
middle school area: 17,510sf
high school area: 13,625sf
site area: 8 acres
number of students: 330 total
middle school: 180 students
high school: 150 students
construction cost: $2,850,000
cost per s.f.: $92/sf
civil engineer: R+R
landscape architect: Saarinen Landscape
structural engineer: KL+A
mech/elec engineer: Priest Engineering
general contractor: Pirnack Walters
sustainable features: daylighting
high-efficiency heating
evaporative cooling
increased insulation
healthy materials
low-water consumption fixtures