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The School in the Woods

Black Forest, Colorado


Connecting through experience of place.

Located in scenic Black Forest, Colorado, the School in the Woods in Academy School District 20 is a unique science integrated program tailored to 4th grade students. Their field-based education program encourages students to learn as much outdoors as they do inside the classroom. To accommodate their expanding needs, the School in the Woods reached out to RTA to design a new building that meets their requirements as a growing community while simultaneously serving as an environmental teaching tool.


Ever curious. Ever learning. Ever improving.

Working with GE Johnson Construction Company and a Design Advisory Group consisting of students, parents, alumni, teachers, and District staff, the design goal of the new building will be to achieve an energy efficient and environmentally conscious solution that exists in harmony with the Black Forest environment.


Purposeful, engaging solutions.

The new 9,500 square-foot School in the Woods will replace four existing modular buildings and will increase student capacity and continue to support its robust community outreach program and home school academy. Flexible learning suites, outdoor learning spaces, and a curiosity center will support the School’s academically challenging “naturalist” based curriculum for fourth grade students.

Project Details

  • Square footage: 9,800 
  • Project cost: $3.85M

Design Details

  • Flexible learning suites
  • 21st Century learning environment
  • Outdoor learning spaces
  • Curiosity Center
  • Forest views
  • Daylighting
  • Environmentally conscious design
  • Learning stair
  • Photography by David Lauer