Denver, Colorado | K-12

Mapleton Public Schools Monterey Community School Renovation

$16.7 M | 67,000 SF

Cator, Ruma & Associates provided the mechanical, electrical, and technology design services for the new Trailside Academy, a 67,000-square-foot PK-8 school. Trailside Academy merges creativity, warmth, and energy into this Expeditionary Learning school for 488 students.

  • Design-Build, required creative design due to space constraints



The new school is organized around four learning communities (grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8), each with individual classrooms and its own centralized commons space. The Early Childhood wing is separate to the east with its own entry.

Trailside’s five-acre site is very small and necessitated creative planning. The undulating building form opens to a park on the west of the site and nestles the playground at the front entry. The park feels almost part of the building with this arrangement. In contrast to the curvilinear south facade, the building is very linear on the north, relating well to the urban context of its neighborhood.

The most important HVAC requirement for the team was system selection. Selecting the appropriate system helped the project team stay within budget, and also met important Owner requirements such as energy performance, low maintenance, reliability, and comfort. The team decided on high performance, variable speed rooftop equipment. The next step was to enhance the system at a zone level. This was done by adding radiant heat in areas where the students are routinely on the floor (such as in the early childhood wing). 

Several other strategies, such as implementing back-to-back sink installation, closely positioned VAV boxes to minimize heating hot water piping, and control wiring also helped to keep the project under budget.

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