CCDS1 plans upgrades for RES K-1 campus

Rawlins Daily Times, Trudy Balcom The Rawlins Elementary K-1 building formerly served the community as Highland Hills Elementary, and was built in 1981. Carbon County School District No. 1 plans to replace the exterior glass wall with new windows, some interior daylighting and upgrades to the parking lot and playground.

Rawlins Daily Times, Trudy Balcom
The Rawlins Elementary K-1 building formerly served the community as Highland Hills Elementary, and was built in 1981. Carbon County School District No. 1 plans to replace the exterior glass wall with new windows, some interior daylighting and upgrades to the parking lot and playground.

By Trudy Balcom

tbalcom@rawlinstimes.com

RAWLINS — You can see through the glass at the front of the Rawlins Elementary School K-1 building, but you can’t see much. A concrete block wall stands just behind the glass.

In two separate projects, over $1 million is going into upgrading the former Highland Hills Elementary building — constructed in 1981 — now home to the Kindergarten and first grade classes for Carbon County School District No.1 in Rawlins.

The district received $657,000 in capital funding from the School Facilities Commission to make improvements to the structure.

The building was intended to have a passive solar design to help with heating. The wall behind the glass, called a Trombe wall, is intended to collect heat from the sun during the day and release it into the building at night to reduce winter heating costs.

The old windows and the Trombe wall will be replaced this summer with a new exterior wall and windows, plus some solar tube lighting to brighten up interior classrooms.

Principal Darren Jennings said that staff who know the building well believed the Trombe wall never did much to help with the heat.

Rawlins Daily Times, Trudy Balcom The playground equipment at the former Highland Hills Elementary was not developed with Kindergarten-age children in mind. A new playground and parking area will be constructed on the site this summer.

Rawlins Daily Times, Trudy Balcom
The playground equipment at the former Highland Hills Elementary was not developed with Kindergarten-age children in mind. A new playground and parking area will be constructed on the site this summer.

CCSD1 Business Manager David Horner said the funding for the project was approved this past March. The Board of Trustees approved a motion to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wyoming School Facilities Commission at Thursday’s board meeting.

A separate project worth $567,000 in major maintenance funding will provide for the construction of a new, age-appropriate playground and a new parking area at the K-1 building. L.M. Olson Construction of Rawlins has been hired as the contractor for that project.

District officials hope that both projects can be completed by the start of the new school year.

“Our intent is to get it as close as possible,” Horner said.

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