Palmer Ridge High School officially opened their doors on August 14, 2008 to approximately 535 freshmen/sophomores and approximately 70 staff members. Palmer Ridge High School is now a 9-12 grade high school with 1150 total students enrolled and 120 staff members.
The school rests on a 69-acre site; the three-story, split level building was designed to gracefully integrate into the sloping site. Palmer Ridge is the largest geothermal project in the State of Colorado. The educational plan responds to three major components of the curriculum: the Academic wing, Fine Arts, and Athletics. The activity areas are connected via a glass bridge which allows the site to further its dialogue with the building.
A major consideration of the design was to provide flexibility for the future. As the curriculum and teaching delivery methods change, the building's versatility will accommodate these new concepts.
Palmer Ridge was designed for interdisciplinary planning where teachers are actively engaged in learning by doing. Faculty Neighborhoods, a 'home base' for the teachers (as the general classrooms are shared) are the heart of each learning community. The design of each neighborhood recognizes the teachers as professionals and offers them a flexible and abundantly lit work area with ubiquitous technology. Each neighborhood has a formal conference room, informal gathering areas and kitchenettes with lounge furniture, encourage teaming and collaborative curriculum development. Neighborhoods are completed with attendance, counseling and administrative offices for each learning community. The provision of a personalized atmosphere that provides each student with the feeling of connectedness, importance, and responsibility is addressed by dividing the large student population into smaller learning communities. Palmer Ridge is also designed to extend itself beyond its boundaries. This is achieved a) through the investment of elaborate distance learning studios; b) as a shared resource in the local community with a daycare and associated play-courtyard and; c) after school joint-use of its auditorium, black box, gymnasiums, classrooms, and media center.
Palmer Ridge is a school where students are inspired to be seekers of knowledge. It provides an opportunity for collaboration, flexibility, and spirit of the regional outdoors for both students and staff.