Outdoor Education Laboratory with Multiple Rustic Facility Master Plans

Jefferson County School District, Windy Peak and Mount Evans Outdoor Laboratory Master Plans, Bailey, CO

CannonDesign developed master plans for both Windy Peak and Mount Evans Outdoor Laboratory Schools for the Jefferson County School District. These labs give students the opportunity to explore and experience subjects such as earth science, wildlife biology, astronomy and forestry in a unique mountain setting. Sixth-grade students stay for an entire school week and rotate through six core classes: geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, navigation field study, archery (force and motion), and a low ropes initiatives course.

The team engaged a large design advisory group comprised of the academic director of the program, both principals, teachers, members of the Outdoor Lab Foundation, community members, and Jeffco Planning and Design personnel to build consensus on the goals, priorities and strategies that would drive the long-term plans. The goals identified by the group included planning for physical facility growth that would better serve the students, support expanded programming, and address budget for future-phased projects. CannonDesign facilitated an inclusive and interactive process that:

  • Assessed the site and all the facilities including dining and lodging facilities, archery and astronomy buildings and support facilities
  • Defined the vision for the educational environment and expansion concepts
  • Prioritized long-term and short-term goals and projects
  • Developed budgets