Research and Creative Work

In the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, students and faculty engage directly with our vibrant city, dynamic community, and magnificent landscape by working on real projects that make a real difference. 

Grand Lake Community Center

Date: 11/1/2014 - 5/20/2016
Location: Grand Lake, CO

With the decline in school age children, the Grand Lake Elementary School became an underused resource and it was decided to bus local children to Granby (16 miles away) instead of keeping the building open. This left a notable absence in the Grand Lake community. An elementary school is more than just a place to educate children. It is, in effect, a physical community message board.

At just over twenty thousand square feet and size, the elementary school had received very few physical updates since its opening in the 1980's. Through feedback gathered in community meetings and through surveying, the project team facilitated a shared vision of the town for the reconfiguration of the building to meet the needs of the community as both a social gathering place and a regional conference/event center. The intention of this project is not to “step on the feet” of current Grand Lake businesses but to tap into revenue areas the community lacks, providing an income generator for the town and a stronger sense of community amongst the users.

Goals of this project included providing an appealing event space to support current meeting and conference needs as well as to draw new events to town; a gymnasium for multiple indoor recreational and sporting activities; flexible meeting spaces to support art classes, workshops, and continuing education; a clinic for immunizations and health drives; business incubator space; office space for the sheriff; outdoor gathering space for community events; and emergency aircraft helipad. Additionally, the town wished for the building's exterior to be updated.

Field Supervisor: Jeff Wood
CCCD Team: Matthew Breen, Kaitlin Lucas, Ross Williams, Katie Benz, Serena McClintick, Lyris Sanchez, Kelsey Blaho, Aalok Bhattarai

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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