Casey Middle School

Boulder, CO

Located at the intersection of High Street &13th in the City of Boulder, Colorado, CMS includes grades 6th through 8th and has a curriculum focused on Science, Math, Geography, Literature and Spanish. The new CMS building is LEED Platinum certified building (the first ever in CO!) showcasing sustainable practices, such as a green roof and a water efficient landscape. The theme of sustainability, as well as nature and education are continued into the landscape, especially within playground area. 

There are several curriculum-themed areas within the east plaza and playground area. Centrally located in the playground is a spiraling series of quotes, all relating to nature and inspired by Henry David Thoreau, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Muir, and Claude Monet. The geography area includes a latitude transect of the world at the 40-degree latitude (Baseline Road). Students can follow markers along the 40-degree latitude transect from Boulder and discover other cities and places the latitude passes through, including Philadelphia and Sardinia, Italy. 

Throughout the landscape surrounding the building, there are many practices used to promote an efficient and sustainable landscape. There is a bioswale between the play courts and the sod play area, which allows water to filtrate through the surface and into the ground. Additionally, light colored concrete is used to reduce the effects of heat in the landscape. Many existing school funded site elements are re-used throughout the landscape, including memorial boulders, flagstone seats, a climbing boulder and chessboard pavers. The use of native seed and low-water planting materials are used throughout the site to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation, as well as provide shade to also reduce the effects of heat in the landscape. The synthetic turf field also reduces the site's water consumption. A community garden space is provided for students, teachers, and the community to experiment and grow their own food locally.