Alta Vista Charter School is First CHPS Verified Leader in Nation and First CHPS Verified School in Colorado

October 17, 2012 (Lamar, CO) - A new charter school in Lamar, Colorado, has the double distinction of being the first school in the state of Colorado to meet the Collaborative for High Performance Schools®’ (CHPS) green school rating program, and the first school in the nation to attain CHPS Verified Leader™ status. Alta Vista Charter School was recognized for both of these firsts at a ceremony on Tuesday.

“As the first CHPS Verified Leader School in the country and first Colorado CHPS school, Alta Vista Charter School is a landmark school,” said Bill Orr, Executive Director of CHPS, who was in Colorado for the ceremony. “Lamar, Colorado, is now home to a watershed project in the green school movement. The students and staff, families, and the community will be reaping the benefits of this healthy, high performance, green place of learning for years to come. Other communities in Colorado and around the nation will follow your leadership.”

AVCS is a K-6 charter school in southeast Colorado. It is projected that the design will reduce energy consumption by 54% at the school, as compared to an average school. The design combines a high performance building envelope, to achieve energy efficiency, with a geo-exchange ground source loop heating and cooling system, to product renewable energy. The project also used the Flex Energy Tool, which allows the school to plan for energy strategies for the future.

“This is a great honor for our firm and a terrific example of how a high performance learning environment can be created in the renovation of an historic building with an addition that supports the educational goals of the school,” says Adele Willson, AIA, LEED AP, partner of SLATERPAULL Architects, in an earlier press release from the firm.

Daylighting strategies allow for lights to be turned off during the day and create significant energy savings as well. The project also used rapidly renewable and recycled content materials throughout the building, and during construction over 70 percent of the construction waste was recycled or reused within the community.

The project includes an additional 23,000-square-foot building and a renovation of the original schoolhouse, built in 1917. The school was designed by SLATERPAULL Architects and constructed by JHL Constructors. The school received a grant from the Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent School’s Today (BEST) program and funding from the Gates Family Foundation.

“We are thrilled to see this amazing transformation and have enjoyed our first year of occupying the school with a healthy and sustainable environment for our students and faculty,” said Talara Coen, principal for Alta Vista Charter School.

CHPS Verified is a green school building rating program that combines a rigorous standard for the design and construction of healthy, green school with a complete third-party review of the features to ensure the benefits are delivered. CHPS Verified Leader is a higher level of recognition for school projects that perform well beyond minimum eligibility requirements for CHPS. Compliance with the CHPS Verified program demonstrates that a school has met one of the most stringent standards for green school design. Schools that achieve “CHPS Verified Leader” recognition are examples of environmental and social responsibility and have provided superior benefits to the environment, student health and student performance.

CHPS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit headquartered in Sacramento, CA, works to make schools a better place to learn. For more information about CHPS, visit

School is first to gain elite ‘Leader’ status, demonstrating superior energy and health features ~order=2012-10-17
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