Instead of a traditional large building, Buena Vista was built with a main building flanked by four cottages, all constructed of blond brick.
You can see it in this photo from the PTA Web site.
The complex was created in 1911 on West Bijou Street, between 16th and 17th streets. The school district had paid $2,000 for the block in 1900, according to a history of the district written by Harriet Seibel in 1975.
The cottage complex replaced an older building moved to the site in 1903. The main building cost $15,000 and each cottage cost $10,000. A mechanical building was built behind them.
Eventually, a second floor was added to the central building and by 1975, additions were made to the cottages, turning them into U-shaped buildings. Instead of a five-building complex, Buena Vista was a three-building complex.
The U-shaped cottages are visible below in the image from www.FlashEarth.com on either side of the main two-story building. The small mechanical building sits to the back. Also visible are additions to the west set of cottages - classrooms and a gymnasium. A temporary classroom structure sits at the rear of the playground.
The school is being replaced by the West Center for Intergenerational Learning. It will occupy about 13,000-square-feet of the west section of the complex. The city will try to rent the remaining buildings.
Since it’s creation in 1993, the West Center has been attached to West Middle School a few blocks away on 20th Street where it occupies about 7,400-square-feet. The city added a west wing of the middle school as a place to offers a variety of community classes and events. The city paid about $12,000 a year in utility costs and shared a custodian with the school.
The city is in discussions with various nonprofit agencies, including Pikes Peak Community Action Agency, about using some of extra the space at the old Buena Vista school. The PPCAA helped found the West Center.
D-11 agreed to pay $225,000 for improvements and first-year utility costs at Buena Vista. Much of the money will be used to add air conditioning to the structure.
Here is a link to a 12-page brochure about the West Center’s activities for the summer of 2009.