Cañon City Middle School Addition and Renovation

Originally constructed in 1925 to serve as the high school, Cañon City Middle School had undergone numerous additions and renovations over its +95-year history. An extensive analysis of the site and the condition and quality of the current facility was conducted by the District, especially as it related to its instructional environment. With an upcoming bond campaign, Cañon City Schools began the planning process with RTA Architects and applied for a BEST Grant based on the retention of elements of the historic high school.

Canon City Middle School Library
Canon City Middle School Library

The central site feature of the new middle school is the courtyard which was created between the existing gymnasium, the existing 1925 building, and the new addition along 12th Street. It has direct access from the Student Commons and the Library to act as a central hub of the design and a safe, protected place for students to enjoy the outdoors.

21st Century classrooms and the library feature flexible collaboration spaces for break-out sessions and small groups. Science classrooms for sixth and seventh grades connect via a sliding door into their respective Maker Space, and the Synergy Lab and Tech Lab can also connect through a sliding glass door for flexibility and visibility. The Commons acts as a commons/cafeteria as well as an auditorium. It is the “heart” of the school and has a direct connection to the courtyard so that both spaces can be used during good weather.

The new building addition was constructed while the existing building was occupied and required multi-phased demolition and construction.

Client: Cañon City Schools, Fremont RE-1
Location: Cañon City, CO
Size: 70,378 sf (44,300 sf renovation; 26,078 sf addition)

Project Team:

About RTA Architects
RTA Architects has created award winning architectural and interior designs for the Colorado built environment since 1975. RTA specializes in education, healthcare, retail, community, and commercial design, delivering beautiful buildings that serve the unique needs of their owners and occupants. In addition to our core strength of architecture and design for new construction, renovation, and adaptive re-use projects, RTA provides technical expertise in a broad range of related services including: feasibility studies; site selection and comparative analysis; master planning; site planning; facility programming; interior design; and environmental graphics, signage and way-finding. RTA's website is located at