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Pueblo's New Doghouse

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

By Eli Schwartz

The Centennialight

In just over three months, the students, teachers, and staff members of Pueblo’s Centennial High School will teach their final classes, take their final tests, and lock the doors to 2525 Mountview Drive for the last time since the building’s unveiling in 1973. For half a century, 2525 Mountview has served as an integral part of the Pueblo community, graduating students from 50 different classes. Closing the building is bittersweet: it is with despair that the Bulldog family watches years of history be demolished, but with great aspiration and excitement to see the new and improved doghouse be constructed.

This journey began in the spring of 2021, when HW Houston Construction broke ground on a plot of land adjacent to the current school. With a million dollars and grand ambitions, HW Houston embarked on the process of creating a 185,000 square foot structure, suitable for 1100 students.

This modern establishment will rest on 14 acres with new sports fields, parking lots, and landscaping. Athletes can look forward to a new soccer field, football practice field, and baseball and softball fields.

Once inside the building, one of the first things that you’ll notice are the stunning light fixtures. Nowhere is this more evident than in the cafeteria/commons area. A huge grid of squares, each encased by wood, is suspended from the ceiling, with exposed square lights in each tile, creating a visually intriguing depth effect. These squares continue around multiple hallways in the school, complemented beautifully by wood paneling. Also in the commons, above the “learning stairs”, hangs a giant light installation, the iconic “CHS” written in bright white lights. This modern white lighting is characteristic of each light in the new school, and is a distinct feature that separates the new from the old yellow tone that 2525 Mountview is blanketed in.

Other architectural features of this new building include balconies extending from different departments, a school store and concession stand, box office, very wide hallways, which may be a result of the exclusion of many lockers, and a new and improved gym, weight room, and auditorium.

This new school contains two full-sized gyms, with a garage door connecting their entrances. The “main” gym has installed bleachers to seat spectators, a 15 by 9 foot video scoreboard, (similar to that of Dutch Clark Stadium) and the capacity to operate a shot clock, which may be the future of high-school basketball.

Centennial’s new auditorium is equally brilliant. Gorgeous waves of wood line the ceiling, huge retractable dividers offer the ability to section off the room, and almost 500 padded seats are available to hold the Bulldogs.

But most importantly, the new Centennial High houses state-of-the-art classrooms. These classrooms mimic a college campus, with more windows, white boards and smart boards, individual climate zones, and tables instead of desks. Similar to the auditorium, the majority of classrooms can be divided, and these dividers hold retractable floor to ceiling whiteboards, offering more room for learning. Learning is extended into the “student hub”, where study rooms are present, which provide a distraction free zone for kids to work independently.

But none of this learning will occur without Centennial’s amazing teachers. These teachers are experiencing a major shift when entering the new building, a shift that will require significant adjustment but may be the path of the future. Teachers in the new school will no longer hold claim to a single room; they instead will have a pod, that they occupy during their free periods, and a shared room, that they rotate into when teaching. This system is very similar to a college campus, where professors only stay in their lecture halls when students are present. These pods, mentioned earlier, are small, containing a desk, lockable filing cabinet, and horizontal shelf. About 14 pods occupy each “faculty think tank”, along with a bathroom, breakroom, and two glass-enclosed meeting areas.

On the security front, the new school is extremely safe. The building contains a reduced number of entry points, ballistic glass in the commons/cafeteria, and the main entrance has double doors that lead directly into the main and security offices. The new museum is also separated from the other parts of the school, allowing the public to access only that area during events. A safe and modern design with suspended 360-degree cameras adds to the secure and protective environment of the new school.

With all of these incredible changes coming to Centennial High School, the possibilities and opportunities for students have skyrocketed. This new campus is revolutionary and will revamp education at Centennial and in Pueblo. The small town of Pueblo will finally have the facilities to match high schools in cities like Colorado Springs and Denver, and nowhere is a better fit for innovation than at Pueblo’s Centennial High School.

Thank you to Mr. Jacob Lewis for assistance with this article.

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