Several of Colorado's historic schoolhouses have been preserved, remodeled, and repurposed over time, and now operate as entirely new establishments, like hotels and restaurants. For example, Denver's former Emily Griffith Opportunity School on 13th and Welton is now the upscale Slate Hotel, and what was once the original Cripple Creek High School is now the cozy Carr Manor.

Another educational building with a storied past that's since been given new life is Ivywild School in Colorado Springs.

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Located at 1604 South Cascade Avenue, Ivywild School was originally built in 1916. The big building was a public elementary school and continued to serve students in Colorado Springs all the way until 2009.

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Shortly after closing its doors to kids, Bristol Brewing Co. moved into the historic site. Instead of a kindergarten classroom, the space is now a yeast lab, where different strains are cultured and traded or sold to other breweries. The basement houses additional beer-making and restaurant supplies.

Besides Bristol Brewing Co., several other businesses have also opened up shop inside the former school, including Ivywild Kitchen and the Odds & Ends Emporium. Over the last decade, the location has become a flourishing communal hub linking commerce and community with gathering spaces, local cuisine, craft beverages, art, and events.

Today, visiting the Principal’s Office has a very different meaning from punishment. Whether it's coffee or cocktails that you're craving, both are offered seven days a week inside the Principal's Office at Ivywild. And for once, you don't want to miss "Detention Hour," where discounted drinks are served all night long.

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While some of the building's interior has been updated and renovated, much of its original character remains. In fact, the old classrooms and the administrative officers are still present. People can host an event of up to 50 guests in the former school's gym.

The concept behind creating this multi-use district combines the idea of linking commerce and community under one giant roof. The thinking was inspired by the idea of strengthening the neighborhood’s identity by restoring its historic centerpiece - Ivywild School, and in turn, keeping its story alive for years to come.

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