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Ignacio High School Renovation & Expansion

Ignacio, CO

"You simply will not find a better design team than RTA Architects. They are truly committed to the future of Colorado's educational facilities, and it shows in everything they do.”

Rocco Fuschetto, Ed.D., Superintendent, Ignacio School District 11JT


Connecting through experience of place.

Ignacio struggled with below-standard performance rates, lack of space for certain educational programs, and was losing students and staff to neighboring schools. To combat this migration of staff and students Ignacio High School aspired to renew community pride and reflect the region’s multicultural heritage through the renovation of the existing junior high and high school buildings.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

The community of Ignacio embraces their culture by using bright and festive colors to honor their heritage. Through design advisory and user groups, a universal language of color, form, and exploration emerged. This language informed and helped to direct RTA’s design process of creating the learning spaces in this building.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

With separate access to the library and adjacent technology room, the resulting high school is a central part of the community. Existing and new classrooms in the high school were designed as flexible learning spaces with enhanced acoustics, daylighting and the ability to accommodate current and future technology upgrades through “rough-in” of conduit and connection points. To honor the community’s heritage, colorful graphics of ceremonial costumes from the Southern Ute Bear Dance cover the inside of the school and the entrance of the school was intentionally located on the east side, keeping consistent with Southern Ute tradition. The seamless unification of the existing buildings and the new additions allows the high school to fit into the community environment and blend with the other buildings in the District.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 97,122 SF
    • Renovation: 54,845 SF
    • Addition: 42,878

Design Details

  • Daylighting
  • Regionally inspired graphics and colors
  • LEED enhanced acoustics
  • Energy-efficient mechanical, electrical, and lighting systems
  • Small group areas
  • Flexible furnishings
  • Collaborative Design Advisory Team


  • 2016 BESTawards Merit Award, LEARN Category, International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • 2015 Summit Design Award, Associations for Learning Environments (A4LE) Rocky Mountain Chapter