News From the Rock — October 2014

Jeff_Liddle_Headshot
Jeff_Liddle_Headshot

Things are off to a great start this trimester here at Eagle Rock! How great a start, you ask? For one thing, our eight new staff and 10 new Public Allies Fellows hit the deck running — right alongside our dedicated veteran staff.

On Wednesday, students Chemi, Cha’Asia, Barbara, Faith, German, Nigel, Myles, Elias, Cortez, Ella, Stacy, Bethzaida, Alysha, Ember, Miriam and Katie-Lynn completed our new student wilderness orientation course in the Gila Wilderness in N.M. They wrapped up the trip by running five miles back to campus where a raucous crowd of family, friends, staff, faculty, students and Eagle Rock board members greeted them.

Add to all this the fact that classes are now in full swing, the weather’s just amazing, and the food — as per usual — is delicious! Life at Eagle Rock is good. But I digress.

We often opine on in our blog posts about the deep learning, inspiring graduates and fine work we’re doing around the country to improve our nation’s schools. But not a bit of this would be possible without a premier, top-of-the-line facility and operations staff that keep it humming along.

The focus of this particular post is to give you a glimpse into recent projects we’ve been working on. But first, some fun facts about our property:

  • Eagle Rock School sits on 640 acres, about 500 of which can’t be developed under an agreement with the Estes Valley Land Trust.
  • The remaining “development zone” is made up of 26 buildings — including a half-dozen student houses (Piñon, Juniper, Lodgepole, Aspen, Spruce, and Ponderosa).
  • There’s Willow house, which houses our 12 Public Allies Fellows, six stand-along staff houses, a library and classroom building, art/woodshop building, science and math building, the Schoolhouse (music building), and a human performance center (home to a full basketball court, competitive swimming pool, climbing wall, an aikido dojo and exercise room).

Check out one of our most recent blog posts — Take A Tour Of The Eagle Rock Campus —for more information on our buildings. We are blessed with the support of the American Honda Motor Co. in maintaining these facilities and are pleased to share with you a few major projects that we have either recently completed or are well on the way to completing.

Newly Paved Road

If you’ve visited campus, you know that our driveway is a more than a mile long and is subject year-in and year-out to the harsh Colorado weather. In September, we chip sealed the road and it is looking beautiful. The Monday and Friday gate runs are much smoother now!

Before

ER_Road_1

After

ER_Road_2

 

ER_Road_3

Flood Repair 

In September of last year, we experienced what was described as a thousand-year flood. Just our luck! Fortunately we didn’t experience catastrophic damage, although as we’ve told you before we didn’t escape unscathed (see: The Mop-up Continues — as Does a Flood of Emotion). The dirt service road and our emergency exit road out the backside of our property were washed out. Our Professional Development Center’s crawlspace flooded and after giving it an intense blow dry, we installed a vapor barrier to mitigate future moisture issues.

Service Road

Before

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ER_Service_Road_2

 

After

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Professional Development Center Crawlspace Vapor Barrier

Before

ER_PDC_Crawl_1

After

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Human Performance Center (HPC) Roof

Two decades of weather and wear and tear will wreak havoc on any roof, and it became obvious to us that the roof over our pool needed to be replaced. Here’s a fun fact: Pool roofs are interesting in that they need to be waterproof on both sides — the outside for weather and the inside due to humidity. Who knew? Thing is, that made replacing the roof a lot more complicated than a normal roof. And as long as we were in the area, we replaced the skylight at the same time.

HPC Roof Before

ER_HPC_1

HPC Roof After

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Fire Sprinkler System

When Eagle Rock was built, a new technology was used in our fire sprinkler system called Poz-Loc. Over time — and much to our dismay — it turns out that technology was deficient. We’ve been replacing that system like clockwork since 2008 and we figure the project will be completed in time for classes in 2017. We are replacing the Poz-Loc with copper piping in all our buildings.

Before

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After

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As we moved into our 21st year, we realize that our role as stewards of this great school requires a shift from managing relatively new buildings to one of tending to an aging property. Fortunately, we are able to keep up with those demands through Honda’s ongoing commitment and the dedication and hard work of our facilities staff: Denise Dunn, Burt Bowles, Terry Tierney, Shortz Zeigler and Susan Luna.

About the Author: Jeff Liddle is the head of school at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center — a nationally recognized, tuition-free residential high school in Estes Park, Colo., that offers a second chance to students who have not been able to succeed in a traditional high school setting, and a professional development center that supports high schools nationally in re-engaging youth in their own education. As head of school, Jeff is responsible for leading Eagle Rock’s school community and its executive leadership team; interfacing with the organization’s board of directors; and, overseeing the vision and financial health of the organization.

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