LAPS: Promises Made, Promises Kept – Aspen Elementary School

Aspen square (1).jpgRenovations at Aspen Elementary were completed in October 2014 and include several safety features such as a single entrance. Photo Courtesy LAPS


Flexibility and functionality — these were the criteria for the renovation and remodel of Aspen Elementary. The Aspen project was financed through bond funds approved by Los Alamos voters in 2013. Another example of a promise made and kept.

Completed in October 2014, the two-story building includes classrooms and a media center. There were also major renovations of the administration area, cafeteria and kitchen spaces, and the art and music rooms. The award-winning design preserved the long hallway teachers wanted to keep while adding learning features such as the glass elevator which lets riders see the workings of the elevator. The project also incorporated several safety features, such as the single entrance to the school and the infrastructure for the security camera system.

 The idea was to incorporate features that are timeless and functional, according to Kathryn Vandenkieboom, who was principal at Aspen during the construction project. Several classrooms can be split in half or, in one instance, four smaller classrooms to accommodate different needs.

“We take great pride in our beautiful school,” said Aspen Principal Michele Altherr.  “Not only does the staff create a positive and welcoming environment, but the building’s modern design with its lofty spaces and natural light does too.”

Altherr added, “We sincerely appreciate the Los Alamos voters making our new facility possible. I encourage Los Alamos residents to continue to support improvements at other sites. It makes a difference!”

The general obligation bond on the ballot will benefit Chamisa Elementary and Pinon Elementary schools. Early voting opened on Oct. 8.  Election day is Nov. 5.  If you need to register to vote, go to