Yampa Valley High School celebrates completion of courtyard | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley High School celebrates completion of courtyard

Frances Hohl/For Steamboat Today

Yampa Valley High School officially "baptized" its beautiful courtyard where students study, eat and even attend class.

It was a project two years in the making.

"If you can imagine, before all this, there was just dirt and trash here," said lead teacher Chuck Rosemond, as he showed off the little natural paradise nestled in the middle of the Steamboat Springs School District’s administrative building at the corner of Seventh and Aspen streets, which is also home to YVHS, Northwest Colorado BOCES, the Boys and Girls Club and the district’s preschool program.

"It was like a prison yard with a bunch of dirt … trash swirling in the corners," Rosemond added.

By everyone’s reaction, I can tell you they’re a lot happier out here.
YVHS senior Dawson Van Pelt

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Not any more, as students cut the official ribbon on Tuesday in front of guests and parents.

Senior Dawson Van Pelt remembers when the courtyard looked very different.

"It was pretty horrific, to be honest," Van Pelt said. "But right now, I feel good about how nice and colorful it is. Everything really pops out, especially in this brick area with all the green and red plants."

Thanks to the Education Fund Board and a few grants, the Boys and Girls Club was able to help the students add the finishing touches to the courtyard this school year.

"The landscapers did all the heavy work, and the students would come in behind them, and we'd do the mulching and planting," Rosemond said.

To top it off, Rosemond and students redesigned a little area of stones into a waterfall feature.

"We had to pick up and move rocks, brought in piping, and did the irrigation work," said senior Jack Ringer, who spent the last year and a half planting, mulching and moving rocks when weather permitted.

For a high school that serves students who may not fit the mold of a regular school or who enjoy self-paced learning, the finished courtyard is a soothing and important part of YVHS.

"It's a nice big space we lack inside," Rosemond explained. "Our math teacher will come out here and do a little blended math. She'll teach directly, then let them do their online work out here."

"By everyone's reaction, I can tell you they're a lot happier out here," agreed Van Pelt.

Students and parents wishing to visit YVHS and learn about the alternative school can call 970-871-3299.

Yampa Valley High School

For a personal tour of the school, call 970-871-3299. Students from Steamboat, Soroco and Hayden school districts are welcome. The Yampa Valley High School serves students who are seeking an alternative learning environment that can better meet their personal and educational goals.