The Ivywild elementary school in Colorado Springs, Colorado was built in 1916 and, when it closed in 2009, the neighborhood was fairly downtrodden.
Then the magic happened. Thanks to the visionaries: Joe Coleman and Mike Bristol (and architect Jim Fennell).
Three years of construction and about $5 million later, it has now reopened as a multi-use facility that combines commerce and community. It’s home to a micro-brewery and pub, artisan bakery, organic/regional charcuterie, organic market with chemical-free food from area farmers, an espresso/cocktail bar. It hosts conferences, gatherings and concerts. All while retaining elements of the old school’s look and feel. The bar, for example, is called “The Principal’s Office” and was located on the same spot. The gymnasium (now one of the main rooms for large gatherings) still has the climbing ropes hanging from the ceiling. There’s even a new school opening on site that offers special courses to adults, children, youth-at-risk, home-schooled students on a variety of topics.
Take a look at some of the photos and you can see the genius behind the renovation. And have a look at their website.