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Loveland Classical adds Gym to New School

Academy Construction

Fundraising effort underway to pay for interior

By Pamela Johnson
Reporter-Herald Staff Writer

Loveland Classical Schools is adding a gym onto its new campus that is under construction thanks to cost savings, reserves and donations.

“Moving forward now saves us money in the long run,” said Ian Stout, principal of the charter school.

Construction of a 53,200-square-foot high school and middle school building is underway at 3015 W. 29th St, including classrooms, a music room, laboratories, a computer lab, a lunch area and more.

What was not included when construction began in the fall was a gym.

Though a regulation 7,500-square-foot gym was always in the design, it was delayed as an optional addition for the future when funding was available. Ultimately, the $1.3 million piece of the project was included in an overall Thompson School District bond issue that voters rejected in November.

Ian Stout, principal at Loveland Classical Schools, shows the area where the new gym will be built during a tour Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, of the new Loveland Classical Schools building under construction near 29th Street and Wilson Avenue in Loveland. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

But this week, school officials decided to add the flooring, walls and roof, basically the shell of the gym, back into the project because they had nearly enough money due to savings during construction and because it would be cheaper to build it now, as part of the overall project, than to add it in the future.

The cost of the gymnasium shell is $960,000. Of that, the school had $600,000 thanks to lower than anticipated fees to the city of Loveland and $150,000 from construction reserves, and the charter school board voted unanimously on Thursday to kick in the remaining $210,000 from the overall budget reserves.

The school does not yet have the money, estimated at $400,000, to complete the interior of the gym, including bleachers, locker rooms, flooring and a scoreboard. That money will come from donations, which the Loveland Classical Schools Foundation will undertake.

The goal is for the entire gym to be finished by August 2017 when the secondary school campus opens for next school year.

Loveland Classical Schools opened in 2011 with 540 total students in kindergarten through ninth grades in a leased space at 3835 SW 14th St. The school has since added a high school level and expanded to 760 total students, outgrowing its original site.

To handle its growth, the school split the high school classes off into a separate location that it leased from another church, a temporary fix as school officials created a vision for the future.

Ian Stout, principal at Loveland Classical Schools, takes a photo Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, of crew working and the area where the concrete floors will soon be poured on the first floor of the new Loveland Classical Schools campus, which is under construction near 29th Street and Wilson Avenue in Loveland. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

They decided, with $20 million in bonds, to buy the original school site in southwest Loveland for the elementary program and to buy land and build a new school for the middle and high school classes.

Construction of the new school is well underway with the interior framing, floors, utilities and curb and gutters either finished or under construction this week and next. Contractors will install the windows next week as well as pour cement for the interior first-level floor.

The two-story building includes red brick on the exterior, designed to look like a traditional school, as well as classical elements in the iron railing on the stairs along with modern elements like a computer lab and an abundance of windows and natural light.

“It looks like a classic school, and that’s intentional in the design,” Stout said, “but it also has a newer take on it.”