Sierra Grande PK-12 Wins IIDA BEST Award

Sierra Grande PK-12 Wins IIDA BEST Award

Equity, flexibility, and resiliency define the learning environments at Sierra Grande PK-12, which was awarded the IIDA Rocky Mountain BEST Award in the “Learn” category. 

Given out annually, the BEST Awards recognize interior design projects that “go beyond a pretty picture, truly encompassing Brilliantly Executed Spaces and Thinking.” 

Located in the heart of a remote, southern Colorado community and near the beautiful Mount Blanca, the new Sierra Grande PK-12 School is a transformational element for Sierra Grande School District — bringing new educational opportunities and healthy, flexible learning environments.

Cuningham’s design team worked closely with the district to optimize the school according to the needs of the students, faculty, and staff. As a result, the new school is comprised of flexible learning spaces that can be reconfigured to suit different teaching methods and learning styles, ensuring that the space works for everyone according to their own ability.

“Our community has always felt like it's been ten or so years behind and it doesn't feel that way here anymore. And that's really awesome.”

Anikah Roybal

Senior/Student Council President

The school features two different climbing walls: one near the central dining commons (above), and another for the elementary students in an area with a balance beam and sensory wall.
Sierra Grande's large windows and skylights let natural light deep into the space and provide views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

At the heart of the school is a dining commons and large wooden stair that provides additional seating for the cafeteria and supports informal gatherings—all framed against a stunning view north to Mount Blanca.

An innovation lab adjacent to the main entry doors gives students a flexible, multi-use lab space where they can observe learning in real time. The new school also has dedicated art and music rooms, a science suite, a performance stage in the multi-purpose auxiliary gym, a main gym, and a fitness space available to the community.

To learn more about Cuningham's work on Sierra Grande PK-12, connect with Cuningham's Paul Hutton and Kari-elin Mock below.

Kari-elin Mock

Author: Kari-elin Mock

Posted In: Awards