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May 23, 2013
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From newsroom to classroom

At the beginning of June, the Summit Daily News will leave the Frisco building from which it has published for more than two decades to make way for a new school house.

The Peak School, a private school heading into its second year of operation, purchased the building which administrators say will provide twice as much space for a student body that is on track to double in the upcoming school year.

The Summit Daily office, in the meantime, will relocate to the new Colorado-Midland Building, just a few blocks away. It is a site better suited to the needs of a modern media organization, newspaper representatives say.

The current Summit Daily building, which once housed a printing press, a darkroom for developing photos and a bigger staff, offers more space than necessary for the now largely digital and mobile news operation.

“The building simply outgrew us,” publisher Matt Sandberg said. “(Our) footprint has shrunk as technology shrinks, so the space we need for each employee is no longer what it used to be. The new space that we have will fit our organization nicely and still allows us room to continue to grow and expand.”

The paper will pair its new location with a new website and new internal digital technology system that has allowed the staff to become mobile, working with and covering the community all over Summit County.

“The newspaper will continue to be the same newspaper that (our readers) know and love,” Sandberg said. “What will change for the Summit Daily is our focus. We’ve become more energized and focused on delivering the top quality product day in and day out. While this location in and of itself does not create any change, it helps put the wrapping on kind of a new page for the Summit Daily.”

It will be the first time the news organization has moved offices in more than 25 years.

Once home to the Summit Sentinel, the current Summit Daily News building was constructed in the mid-1980s specifically to house a newspaper. It was purchased by Swift Communications in 1994 along with the Sentinel organization. The new owners consolidated the newspaper with other local publications under the same roof in Frisco, including the Summit Daily News and the Summit County Journal.

In time, Swift Communications condensed printing operations for all of its mountain publications, which include the Vail Daily and the Aspen Times, in Gypsum. The large press once housed in the Summit Daily building was removed.

No longer in need of such a large facility, Swift put the Summit Daily building on the market several years ago.

It sold in April to the fledgling Peak School, which was looking for a new home after spending it’s first school year as a temporary tenant in the old CMC building in Breckenridge. The historic structure is slated for renovation and will eventually be reopened as a library and community center.

The Summit Daily building will become the school’s permanent location, offering more space to accommodate a larger student body, a better location and room to grow in the future, administrators said.

“We’re very excited that this is our long-term home,” Peak School founder Chris Renner said. “To find that and be able to buy a building in our first year is pretty amazing.”

The more central location will allow Peak School students to more easily participate in extracurricular activities at Summit Middle and High Schools, which are nearby. The existing newsroom will become classrooms and administrators plan to expand into the part of the building that once housed the press as the school grows and requires additional space. A large, undeveloped lot, currently used for parking, also provides an opportunity for future expansion.

The Peak School served grades sixth through eighth this year and will add one grade every year, beginning with ninth grade in the fall. Administrators plan to eventually construct a new building to create separate middle and high schools.

But in the first year there will be very few changes to the building, other than a new coat of paint and fresh carpets.

“Truly, the way the building is currently laid out, it fits our need perfectly,” Renner said. “We have the capacity to expand. We don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like, but at least we have the freedom to start to dream and plan.”

The Summit Daily operation will relocate to 331 Main St. in Frisco the first week of June. The public office will remain open to the community without interruption during the transition.

The Peak School will open its doors for the school year in its new location in the fall.


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The Summit Daily Updated May 29, 2013 01:46PM Published May 23, 2013 04:49PM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.