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2019 High School Architecture Class

Our 6th annual FREE High School Architecture Class is starting soon! Applications are due no later than January 30th and class will begin on February 6th! Please contact Scott at  for more information and to get an application.

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Beyond the Blueprints: Architect Patrick Ward

Welcome to Beyond the Blueprints, where we get to know RTA staff beyond their work lives. Join us in discovering the passions and interests of our amazing team!

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How did you get involved in fly fishing?

From a young age my dad would always take us on trips to the North Woods in Minnesota and Canada. We had week long trips where we stayed in a cabin between two lakes and we would go out and fish. I knew we had a fly rod and we had some places where you could go out and catch blue gills so I was already interested in that when I began making my own flies.

How old were you when you started making your own flies?

I began making my own flies around the age of 10. My father gave me a kit that had a vice, feathers, and hooks. My family has always been crafty. My mom painted and my dad built things and we were always making models because the winters were always snowy. Then I fished all the little streams around where we lived; everywhere I could walk or ride my bike. I continued to evolve, especially when I moved out west. I just really into fly fishing and now I fly fish for everything that swims.

How does fly fishing in Colorado differ from where you grew up?

Well, it's cold water, so it's mostly trout. In Virginia, there's plenty of little trout streams but as soon as you get down in elevation it's more like small mouth bass.

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How do you find a "good spot"?

You have to go exploring and sniff it out, ask people, or spend money at a fly shop. It's a good idea to hire a guide. If I was going to Montana on a trip, for example, I'd hire a guide for the first two days and I'd ask him/her, "Where can I go on my own? Where can I take a boat? Where can I hike and fish?" There's a ton of information out there, and then there's a lot of information that's not out there. You just have to go and say, "I wonder what's up at the headwaters of this particular river" and follow the map. The fun is figuring it out.

Why do you catch and release?

There are a couple of reasons. One, you don't want to eat that many anyway. If you're going to eat the fish, they need to be put out of their misery right away and put on ice, so if you're hiking six miles from the car it's not really practical because they won't taste good by the time you get back. A lot of places, in order to protect their fishery populations, are regulated catch and release anyway.

Another cool thing about fly fishing is understanding the larger system. I learned the entomology of the streams so that I know what kind of flies to tie because the fish can be very selective in their feeding. If it's red today because there's a Red Quill hatch, they're not going to bite on yellow flies because the fish key in on their abundant prey species really carefully.

Have you ever had a Moby Dick?

Yes! Last weekend I had been fishing, catching decent fish, and I spotted a nice size trout. I saw it swimming up to a boulder and I knew it was there and it was huge! It just came up and calmly ate the fly. I jerked it right out of its' mouth I was so excited! You have to have patience and nerves of steel.

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What's your favorite part about fly fishing?

The natural beauty. You're in an awesome setting and the insects themselves are beautiful. They're just these delicate little animals that only live for one day. The larva (nymphs) live under the water for a year and then in one day they emerge, they molt, they mate, they lay their eggs, and they die. The fish are beautiful, the setting is beautiful, the whole thing just fits together. It's a fun way to spend time outside.

What local resources would you recommend?

Angler's Covey.

RTA Welcomes Seven New Team Members

We are pleased to announce that we have welcomed seven new staff members to our Architectural and Marketing teams over the last few months. The new member of our Marketing team is Marketing Assistant Kitaen Jones, and our new Architectural team members are Architects Ben Foster, Christine Costa, and Jon Houck, and Emerging Professionals Erika Everett, Mitchell Starrs, and Jordan Johnston. Read the full press release here and welcome to all! 

Amy Shuster Earns NCIDQ Certification

Congratulations to our very own Amy Shuster for earning the title of NCIDQ certified interior designer! Amy is an integral part of our design team and has worked on multiple healthcare and education projects. We couldn't be more proud!

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Stuart Coppedge, FAIA featured in Colorado Real Estate Journal

RTA Principal Stuart Coppedge, FAIA was recently featured in the December edition of Colorado Real Estate Journal’s Building Dialogue! Colorado Springs has been a health and wellness destination since its earliest days and architects are continuing this tradition today. Read Stuart’s full article here.

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Denver Health ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders Receives Recognition of Excellence

Congratulations Denver Health! The RTA-designed ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health has been recognized by Anthem Health as a Center for Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders; the FIRST EVER medical unit in the field of eating disorders to achieve this designation! Read more about this incredible project here.

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Hinsdale County School District Passes Bond

Congratulations to the Hinsdale County School District! On November 6 voters approved a $3.95 million bond to be matched by a $9.4 million state-funded BEST grant to address security, safety, and health concerns at Lake City Community School. Read more about this exciting project here.

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Second Annual Bud Roberts Memorial Scholarship Awarded

RTA is ecstatic to announce that we have officially awarded our second annual Bud Roberts Memorial Scholarship to not one, but TWO staff this year! The scholarship, in honor of our founding partner, is intended to help one of our folks each year do something exceptional to further their education and development as an architect, and this year we couldn't pick just one. Patti will be working with Engineering Ministries International and Mitchell will be working with Habitat for Humanity to design and build distaster resistant housing in El Salvador. Congratulations Patti and Mitchell!

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Standing Room Only at the UCCS William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center Groundbreaking

It was standing-room only at the groundbreaking celebration for the new William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center at UCCS that is poised to transform education, research, and healthcare for athletes of all levels, active individuals with disabilities, elite military, and first responders. We were thrilled to celebrate this milestone with the university and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Centura Health, and our design-build partners HOK Architects and JE Dunn Construction. Visit our page for more updates on this great project!

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Jones and Palmer Halls Ribbon Cutting

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating the ribbon cutting for TWO completed projects on one very special campus. The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind provides specialized education services and we are honored to have a role in their growing campus. At more than 12,000 SF, Jones Hall houses the Colorado Instructional Materials Center as well as VIP rooms for campus guests and a low vision clinic. In addition, a full renovation of the 15,000+ SF Palmer Hall was completed and hosts CSDB's "Bridges to Life" program which serves students between the ages of 18 and 21 and seeks to bridge the gap between high school and the real world, emphasizing education, employment, and independence. Congratulations CSDB!

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Pikes Peak Summit Complex Construction Camera

The team atop Pikes Peak has been working hard to complete as much as they can on the new Summit Complex before their short construction season comes to an end. Recently they have been blasting permafrost and bedrock, preparing for the central raised walkway, and some excavation has already begun. We'll be looking forward to the erection of part of the building core in the coming months and now you can watch too! Click here to access the live stream.

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