Carmel Community School and Solid Rock Youth Center open in the Southeast | News
Two new youth-focused facilities opened in southeast Colorado Springs last week. Harrison School District 2 welcomed students to the newly rebuilt Carmel Community School and Solid Rock Community Development Corporation held a grand opening for its new youth center.
Carmel Community School is a $36 million project, funded by a voter-passed bond measure. “I am so grateful that our community has passed a measure of obligation and approved capital projects in all schools,” Wendy Birhanzel, D2 Superintendent, said at a Jan. 5 ceremony. “It’s a message of partnership within the school district and shows that our community values education. I am grateful that our students can see these changes in our school buildings, because the environment really matters. This work tells our students that we hear them and that we love them.
The new Carmel Community School replaces the 50-year-old Carmel Middle School, and not only will it serve D2 students, but the community wing includes a separate community room and community computer lab, as well as access to the auditorium and gymnasium. “It really is a wonderful addition to Southeast Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Park neighborhood,” Mayor John Suthers said. “I think it lives up to its name, ‘Community School,’ because it really is a community facility. It is imperative that throughout Colorado Springs we continue to work together at all levels to provide our students with the opportunity to create a better future for themselves through education, for the success of each student and also for the success of our communities, our city, our state and our nation. This school not only helps support our students and their families, but will be a strong community hub for all the positive things happening in this part of our town and in Harrison School District 2.”
Carmel Community School welcomed students in grades 6, 7 and 8 on January 6. Next year, Carmel will host Kindergarten to Grade 8, as nearby Pikes Peak Elementary School becomes the site of United Way’s Family Success Center.
East of Academy Boulevard, Solid Rock Community Development Corporation opened its new youth center at 2052 Jet Wing Dr., just north of Sierra High School. “I’ve been in the area for a few years, and the Southeast is one of those areas, I think if we can have an impact and empower the rest of the state will follow,” said Nicholas Crutcher, new director and youth coordinator of Solid Rock. . “It’s one of the reasons we chose this location, and we have to give back.”
The youth center will be open Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will provide a meeting space for youth groups and clubs, as well as activities and services. “We have a pool table, air hockey, ping pong, badminton,” Crutcher said. “A lot of young people are into the game systems, so the [PlayStation 5 is popular]. We have young artists, chess clubs, that sort of thing. We have access to a [food] pantry, so we understand that it’s hard to do any kind of educational stuff if you’re hungry. Just create the resources and make sure that we can provide holistic resources to all the young people coming in, knowing that every young person is different.