Central Platoon School

Year Listed: 2012
County: Morgan County
Construction Date: 1928, mid-20th century addition
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect – Vacant
Status: ALERT
 
 

Designed by noted architect Frederick Mountjoy (Rocky Mountain Bank Note Co Building, Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction, Del Norte High School, St. Ignatious Loyola Church, etc.) the nearly 50,000 square foot Central Platoon School is a prominent and beautiful architectural landmark that is sited on an entire city block in downtown Brush. Built in 1928, with a modest addition in the mid-20th century, the school was designed for the platoon educational system that emphasized a curriculum focused on activity-based learning and featured multiple teachers per class (as opposed to the more traditional elementary system of one teacher per class per year).

In use as a school until the late 1990s, the building has been vacant since. Pigeons have infested the building and a recent effort removed more than 2000 birds. Their waste is throughout the building and varies in depth from a few inches to knee high under light fixtures and other roosting areas.  Water damage to the ceilings has become increasingly apparent over the past few years.  The size and needs of the building presents a challenge for a rural community of 5000 citizens.

A group of local community leaders has emerged with a strong interest in saving the building. They are currently working with the property owner to discuss use strategies, though the requirement that the building be 70% leased before rehab begins is proving to be a tall hurdle. Discussions are ongoing in regards to how the building should be used, but possibilities include residential, commercial, recreation and/or government offices. The building exhibits remarkably high architectural and interior integrity, including original floors, doors, transoms, and exterior windows.

The Town of Brush has allocated significant financial resources to a highly successful streetscaping project, and many in town see the successful rehabilitation and use of Central School as the next logical step towards reaching the town’s beautification and economic development goals.

In the last few years assessments have been done on the building to analyze its stability and possibilities for its reuse. Little movement has occurred despite interested architects looking at the building.

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