Fast Facts


Aspen Community School History

  • Founded in Aspen in 1970 by parents who wanted an alternative to conventional public education
  • Built on a Woody Creek mesa in 1973 by Harry Teague (along with Peter Stoner) as his Yale Master’s thesis in architecture
  • Rooted in lifelong learning, community, responsibility and social justice
  • In 1995, became a public charter school of the Aspen School District

Aspen Community School Today

  • Celebrating 44 years, with full enrollment of 127 K-8 students and a waitlist of 80+ families
  • Offering equal and tuition-free access to the school’s high quality education
  • Academically outstanding — among the highest-achieving schools in Colorado each year
  • Graduates who matriculate smoothly into high school and are often on honor lists
  • Debt-free and self-sustaining on land we own and a budget we balance each year
  • Staff retention is typically 100% and job satisfaction is high
  • Completed comprehensive Master Plan in 2010

Facility Needs

One of Colorado’s highest-performing schools in one of its lowest-performing facilities:

  • Rated near the bottom 1% in State of Colorado Facilities Index for public schools
  • Incompatible with current building, ventilation and sanitation standards
  • Inefficient lighting, heating and energy consumption
  • Overcrowded classrooms
  • Inaccessible for those with physical handicaps
  • Failing utility infrastructure
  • Inadequate fire safety and suppression
  • Congested traffic and poor pedestrian safety
  • Insufficient restrooms and kitchen

Imagine the Possibilities

By 2015, students and staff will benefit from:

  • 25% more classroom space and 50% increase in visual and performing arts areas
  • Energy-efficient spaces that can be monitored and studied
  • Accessibility for those with physical disabilities
  • A community hall that converts to a gymnasium and/or a theater
  • Pedestrian-friendly campus that separates cars from people
  • Improved water and septic systems, and much more

Community Benefits

The new campus will allow us to live our philosophy and build our future. Three direct community benefits are:

  • A community hall that doubles as a gymnasium
  • Four employee housing units
  • Potential for summer programming on the campus

In addition, an investment in ACS will support broad returns such as:

  • Promoting educational excellence in the U.S., including facilities that are as innovative as the school itself
  • Educational choice in the Roaring Fork Valley with equal access to ACS’s small school environment, low student/teacher ratios, award-winning curriculum, and integrated arts program
  • Environmental leadership, including renewable energy, use of green building materials, improved energy efficiency, natural daylighting, and LEED-equivalent best practices


The total cost is $13.1 million. We received a BEST challenge grant of $4.2 million and secured that grant by raising $4.9 million by BEST’s May 1, 2013 deadline. We will raise the $3.75 million balance this year.

All we need is you.

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