New Wiggins High School and Middle School
Wiggins, Colo.

Owner: Wiggins School District RE-50J
Lead Design Firm: Hord Coplan Macht
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Structural Engineer: Martino & Luth Inc.
Civil Engineer: JVA Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: Envision Mechanical Engineers
Electrical Engineer: R.J. McNutt & Associates

Imagine a school constructed in 1948 with an insufficient heating system and no air conditioning, where, until recently, students traveled between classes wearing blankets and heavy coats. This was the reality at Wiggins High School in rural eastern Colorado. The old building was constructed well before the advent of the internet and computers, and long before student safety was forefront in K-12 design. 

The 56,450-sq-ft expansion and renovation was designed with students’ best interests in mind—from a better daily learning environment to improved campus safety. 

The new school includes a state-of-the-art STEM classroom with a 3D printer and a distance learning lab that enables students to take collegiate-level classes. Upon completion of the distance-learning lab, the number of students enrolled in online classes increased by 142%. 

In addition to the challenges associated with completing an addition and renovation on an occupied K-12 campus, the team had to address a 4 ft difference in grade to level the existing cafetorium. Adolfson & Peterson developed a plan to access the cafetorium and import the dirt necessary to level the floor by removing existing walls and windows. 

When the team completed a site survey, they discovered that the football field and track did not meet Colorado High School Activities Association requirements. Although sitework on the field and track was not included in the original scope, AP completed the work using contingency funds without affecting the overall schedule and budget. As a result, Wiggins is now able to host CHSAA sporting events on its home field. 

The entire Wiggins community was engaged in the construction. A local metal building contractor donated resources to construct a stand-alone ticket booth for sporting events, and several businesses donated funds to provide storage for athletic and theater equipment. 

Today, nearly 550 students attend classes in the new Wiggins High School and Middle School. It serves as a comfortable, welcoming and safe environment where students can socialize on the conversation stairs, learn in state-of-the-art classrooms and grow into well-educated adults within the local community.

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