The Upcoming Impact Center for the 9R District


The new Impact Center that will be used for the design process for all CTE programs in the Durango 9R district on Friday, February 17. This building will help students improve their vision of and figure out what they want to achieve in their future. The building will be complete for the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.

Over the years, Durango schools have changed in location and in size in many different ways. One change that was very impactful was the change in area for the Durango High School in 1976. Now in 2023 the Durango High School is in construction for a new Impact Center and will be finished for the 2023-2024 school year. 

Durango High School opened its doors back in 1917 on 201 E 12th St or better known as the building on the top of Buckley Park on Main Street. But in 1976 they transferred into a new and larger building at the current Durango High School, which all the students and staff know and love today. The old high school building was unique in its own way.  It had three floors, each floor had its own subject. First, the ground floor was used for physical education or activities with its track and basketball court inside the building. Next, the first floor is used for office and science-based studies, with an auditorium on top of the gymnasium. Lastly, the second floor was used for in-home subjects like sewing and cooking, with the auditorium’s top part and three classrooms on the side.  The current Durango High School was established back in 1976, they extended the size of the building in 2005 when they added the west wing hallway that is filled with subjects like Math and Social studies. 

Recently, during the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year. The Durango 9R District began its newest project, the Impact Center. According to Johnathan Hoerl, the Principle of Durango High School, “the Impact center is about the design process, the design process crosses all different curricula because it’s about prototyping, building, testing, refining, and all the different pieces that involve different industries”. The Center will be used for all the different steps of the design process just as Hoerl states. Although it is located right next to the school, Jordan Engelhart who teaches engineering and robotics classes at Durango High School includes that, ”the Impact Center is going to be our own CTE central hub for the district, any of the schools that are working in the district trying to create the CTE pathways either in engineering, robotics, fashion design, woodworking, culinary arts or whatever direction the staff are going, the Impact Center will be a resource available to them to go in and use for different stages in the design process”. The Impact Center will be a valuable resource for not just our Durango High School students but all of the students, teachers, and staff that help create the CTE pathways and that are in the Durango 9R district. 

Now what will this look like for students you may ask. Well, students from all Durango 9R schools will be able to use the Impact Center for their own resources.  Principle Hoerl states, “for the students primarily it’s going to be for those kids that get to the level 2, level 3 programing in these career pathways where they are able to utilize these spaces in short periods of time to be part of that design process”. The Impact Center will also help those students who want to go deeper into their interested career of choice. Inside the center, students will be able to utilize every step of the design process.  From brainstorming, drafting, prototyping, and even processing it. Other opportunities that are available in the Impact Center are the business process.  Hoerl also states that, “the building is designed to be part of the design process  there are different spaces throughout the entire building that are specific to those different phases of the design process, so you have a maker space where you can construct your prototype, you have conference rooms where you can meet to discuss like how are you going to build it and how’s it going to look like, we have large open spaces where there can be collaboration among peers and hopefully collaborations among curriculum”.  

In the end, the Impact Center will be a great place for students to push forward for their career of choice and be able to have the opportunities of furthering their experience and knowledge. From students from the design process like graphic design, drafting, and the building process like wood working and engineering. The Impact Center will help students improve their skills and help them figure out their future.