New school gets rave reviews |

New school gets rave reviews

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Silverthorne teacher Ms. Susan Maar helps student Debanhi Lopez in English class Tuesday morning at Silverthorne elementary.

SILVERTHORNE – Silverthorne Elementary principal Steve Riggins laid awake in bed Monday night worrying about how to line students up for the buses on Tuesday afternoon.He’s also consumed with traffic lights, lunch lines, playground supervision and keeping little feet off newly planted grass.

Such are the concerns of an administrator during the first week of school in a brand new building.”It really has to do with all the operations and procedures,” Riggins said Wednesday. “The other building was laid out so differently. But things went really smoothly here today.”Riggins may not be well-rested this week, but his anxieties are tempered by his excitement – and that of his staff and students – about the new, cutting-edge facility the Silverthorne Elementary community now calls home.

“I just think it’s such an outstanding learning environment for kids. Every room you go into has so much natural light. Every window in this building has a gorgeous vista.”People ask me if I’m worried about kids daydreaming – it’s not the kids I’m worried about,” Riggins joked.Construction of the 62,500-square-foot facility finished in August, on schedule and under its $12.7 million budget, paid for by the school district’s special building, maintenance and technology mill levy that expires this year.

The building has attracted national attention for its environmentally friendly design, which school district officials expect will save $25,000 annually in energy costs. Expansive windows capitalize on Mother Nature’s heating and lighting capabilities, keeping electric light use at a minimum.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at

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