Latest News – December 15

Publishers Note: In this story, we celebrate Leadville’s beautiful, precious children and the schools’ educators and staff, while our hearts break for the same at Sandy Hook. God Bless Newtown, CT!

Winter Festival Celebrates Penguins!

Jules Vigil and her son JoVaan Vigil enjoyed Family Fun Night!

Jules Vigil & son JoVaan Vigil with a reindeer-painted-face (!) enjoyed Family Fun Night!

On Dec. 6 at The Center/Pitts Elementary School there was a penguin-themed Winter Festival! This Family Fun Night was a joint activity between the preschool and kindergarten. 

According to Mary Cannell, Family and Community Partnerships Manager at The Center, the kids signed in and received a passport to do the different activities.  They made igloos out of marshmallows, bowled for penguins, fished, made ornaments, ate cookies, and listened to penguin stories. 

The kids also had an opportunity to have pictures taken with a “special guest” from the North Pole.  A total of 99 families participated.  It was a blast . . of winter fun!

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Dahl Becomes Middle School Principal 

Lake County Middle School Assistant Principal Lacey Dahl is stepping into the role of Principal effective immediately, according to a press release distributed by Lake County School Superintendent Dr. Wendy Wyman on Friday, Dec. 14.  Former middle school Principal, Tim Ridder has resigned.

“I am confident that Mrs. Dahl will do an outstanding job leading the middle school forward and implementing district initiatives within the building,”  stated Superintendent Wyman, adding that she will work with Principal Dahl to fill the Assistant Principal position as quickly as possible.

Dr. Wyman will hold a question and answer session at Lake County Middle School on Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 pm.

Lacey Dahl’s Background

As the former Assistant Principal, Dahl is already well connected within the school and to the community, which will be helpful towards  a seamless transition.  She is widely recognized for her ability to build relationships with students and staff as well as her strong skills in instruction and curriculum.


High School Renovation Takes First Step

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the renovation process for Lake County High School (LCHS) took its first step during the site walk for Architectural and Engineering (A/E) firms interested in bidding the project. Coordinated by Chris Guarino and Colleen Kaneda with Consilium Partners, LLC, the schools district’s Owner Representatives for the project, the mandatory meeting saw more than 20 perspective design firms gathered in the high school cafeteria.

Representatives from more than 20 Architectural and Engineering (A/E) firms take a tour of the high school.

Chris Guarino of Consilium Partners takes representatives from more than 20 Architectural and Engineering firms on a tour of the high school.

“As you can see, this has got to be one of the best views from a high school cafeteria that there is,” stated Guarino. “In fact, there are great views from all around this site.”

The tour included A/E company representatives,  as well as LCHS Principal Jamie Jeffrey, School Superintendent Dr. Wendy Wyman and several staff members from the district’s maintenance and transportation departments. The main intention of the site walk was to introduce attendees to the school grounds, as well as provide a firsthand experience of how the school’s traffic flows. The tour was intentionally scheduled at the end of the school day, so participants could see how parent pick-up and bus transportation are coordinated.

Site walk participants gather outside to observe school bus traffic flow.

Site walk participants gather outside to observe school bus traffic flow.


The $26 million school improvement project was approved by voters in November with the passage of the 3A School Bond Issue. The construction schedule provides for the general contractor and any necessary consultants to be in place by springtime.

“We’ll be breaking ground when school gets out,” announced Guarino.  

Most of the renovation project focuses on the northern portion of the high school, including an expanded wing for 7th and 8th grade classes to be integrated into the new building. One of the planning issues that was discussed during the tour was the need to “touch things twice,” as described by Guarino.

Ultimately the construction process will need to be carefully planned to meet specific timeline benchmarks, so as not to interfere with the education process.  After all, there is not another building to place classes and staff during the renovation process. Additionally, it was noted that there is an expectation that workers will not have any interaction with students throughout the construction process. 

No doubt, the project has its share of challenges, but it’s also worth noting that the Lake County High School renovation is a coveted project, one that has drawn a lot of attention from companies across the state, according to School Board President Keith Moffett.

Representatives from over 20 A/E firms discuss the possibilities of a new entrance to the high school.

Representatives from over 20 A/E firms discuss the possibilities of a new entrance to the high school with Chris Guarino, the school district’s Owner Representative.

The next step for the A/E firms is to submit any questions, which will be answered and shared by Consilium to everyone interested in bidding this portion of the project. This approach demonstrates the district’s commitment to transparency at every stage.  

With the A/E process underway, next up is the quest for a General Contractor. In fact, the Request for Qualifications (RFG) for Construction Management/General Contractor (CM/GC) was released on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with a mandatory site walk scheduled for this Tuesday, Dec. 18. (Note: see  Public Notice  ad on this page). Consilium will be posting solicitations for bids on a number of opportunities on Leadville Today, so stay tuned for updates.

“We’ll manage every detail of the project,” stated Guarino.  “From the procurement of the design team, to the general contractor, to the hazardous material consultant. Through all of the hiring process, we are going to emphasize local support, as much as possible.”  However, making sure that everyone is qualified will also be a top priority, added Gaurino.

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