The City broke ground on a new downtown elementary school Monday afternoon. The ceremony has many people looking forward to the new building.
Columbine Elementary School was built in 1926. Since that time, it's been one of two elementary schools serving the downtown Grand Junction area.
Eighty years later, school officials have decided they need a new building that better reflects the times.
"Students are actually in a position where they're in an environment to foster their learning," said School District 51 spokesperson, Jeff Kirtland. "That's really what it's about."
City officials, members of the schoolboard, and members of the community all came out for the groundbreaking ceremony. They say they are very excited about this project.
"We're very, very excited because we haven't had this opportunity to use all the new technology that they're going to put in the school," said Lincoln Park teacher Cindy Hernandez. "That's very exciting."
When the still unnamed school opens next July, students from Columbine and Lincoln Park will all be walking into one building. Many people are glad the new school will unite the downtown community.
"We've kind of been divided because of our two small schools," said Hernandez. "I think this is a great opportunity for everybody to get together and rally behind this amazing, historic community in one, united building."
The new school will be a LEED building, the first of it's kind in the area. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It promotes making buildings more green.
Parts of the new school will be built with recycled materials and architects have designed it to use less water and electricity.
That is part of the reason the city allocated nine million dollars to build it.
"You put the money on the front end, so that on the back end the building sustains itself for a longer period of time," said Mayor Jim Doody.
The city hopes the new school will be a stepping stone in introducing more LEED buildings to the downtown area.
"I think the city, as we go to build some projects...maybe our public safety facility...look at some of these ideas," said Mayor Doody.
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