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Animas High design is lacking in warmth, gathering spaces

I begin with an apology to readers for my negativity on this subject or hurt feelings this engenders. I usually try to be mostly positive in my thoughts. However, when I saw the photo of the proposed design for the new Animas High School, my heart sank.

It might be fine for a commercial building or processing plant, but for a learning center for young students? The courtyard roof is so high that it will offer protection from neither our strong winds nor sun. There is no built-in seating for deep, languid, much-needed conversation, no landscaping for shade and beauty. Who would want to stand there, holding a huge load of books?

There should be several patios so various classes can move into our beautiful outdoors when weather permits. The hard, cold colors and design to my mind offer no warm welcome to young people who need to feel embraced at this stage in their lives. Perhaps the students love this design, but I have to doubt it. Drive around and see where teens hang out. It’s not around places like this.

And does this design in any way suggest Durango’s unique history and character? It could just as well be a design for Detroit, Phoenix, even Latvia. Please, Durango, let’s encourage design that contains that same warm, welcoming character that other structures have, both in town and on the Fort Lewis College campus.

Connie Durand

Durango