James R. Fennell & Lola S. Scobey | Build Ivywild

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New book chronicles the redevelopment of Ivywild school and its historic neighborhood

By: South Side Business News

Ivywild3Three years ago, a small consortium of Colorado Springs entrepreneurs took on the monumental task of breathing new life into a nearly 100-year-old decommissioned school set in a historic Colorado Springs neighborhood. The entrepreneurs—architect James Fennell (Fennell Group), Mike Bristol (Bristol Brewing Company) and Joseph Coleman (The Blue Star)—were all already recognized as successful innovators and leaders in their specific arena of small business: architecture, craft brewing and restauranteering.

Focusing their abilities together around the old, empty Ivywild School, they were not content to simply repurpose the historic structure and grounds. Rather they envisioned multiple positive impacts from approaching the project with the goal to integrate three distinct levels of sustainability.

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A neighborhood full of food, beer and art at Ivywild

By: Colorado Springs Independent


‘I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!”

Yes, the White Rabbit’s tune from the Walt Disney Co.’s version of Alice in Wonderland is a fitting one for the Ivywild School, which has finally opened a little over a year after initial projections, sending impatient Bristol Brewing Co. and Blue Star aficionados down the common rabbit hole that is a giant renovation project, along with project co-founders Mike Bristol, Joseph Coleman and Jim Fennell.

Fennell, the building’s architect, can explain. He cites factors including “a substantial delay” with the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority; an unexpected, $30,000 support wall that had to be built; worker absences due to the Waldo Canyon Fire; and aesthetic decisions such as to expose and restore underlying interior brick and other features, a $15,000 adjustment. That’s out of the roughly $4 million the nearly 40,000-square-foot project cost (not including the brewery equipment’s extra million-plus), which is at least $1 million more than initial estimates.

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One on One: Fennell planted Ivywild’s ideas

By Colorado Springs Business Journal


James Fennell is the man behind the groundbreaking design of the Ivywild School, a redeveloped elementary school at 1604 S. Cascade Ave. that houses several trendy new restaurants as well as the famed Bristol Brewing Company.

Fennell, who owns the local architectural design company, Fennell Group, talked with the Business Journal this week about how his vision for Ivywild developed and what sets it apart from other redevelopment projects.

How did you become involved with the Ivywild project? What projects has Fennell Group been involved in that made you a good fit for Ivywild?

I worked with Mike and Amanda Bristol on the design of their first brewery, located on Forge Road, back in the mid-1990s. Chuck Murphy (the contractor at Ivywild) actually introduced me to Mike Bristol.

Around that same time, we had been working on a few projects in Germany and were impressed with the micro-scale of the breweries — it seemed every village had its own brewery. There are environmental, economic and cultural benefits in having these local breweries. When I returned to Colorado I even experimented with beer making.

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Newly opened Ivywild School raises funds for A Joyful Noise Farm

By: Colorado Springs Independent

A Joyful Noise Farm was one of the many evacuated during the Black Forest Fire last week. But thankfully, their story had a happier ending than many of their friends, such as the Silly Goose Farm, which burned.

And while Joyful Noise is lending a hand in trying to help Silly Goose rebuild, last week, theIvywild School held a small fundraiser in benefit of Joyful Noise, who lost income while out-of-commission and also lost some livestock.

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Anticipation for Ivywild lures early crowds

By Colorado Springs Business Journal

After literally years of planning, the “new” Ivywild School opens to instant crowds for its variety of food and drink offerings, with some businesses supplying each other.

After literally years of planning, the “new” Ivywild School opens to instant crowds for its variety of food and drink offerings, with some businesses supplying each other.

Ivywild School, the 100-year-old former schoolhouse that has been redeveloped into restaurants and a brewery, was busy with customers before it was fully open.

The Meat Locker, offering various smoked sausages and bacon, made an unannounced opening at noon on June 5 in Ivywild’s south wing, and within an hour, dozens of people were filling seats munching on sandwiches.

In the north wing, where Bristol Brewing is located, the early afternoon was quieter, but it was a calm before a late afternoon storm of customers that would swarm in on its first day open.

Customers were alerted to Bristol by a sign posted on the door of the old location, but that was enough to draw crowds that made record-breaking donations to the brewery’s regular Tuesday night Karma Hour, in which $1 from the sale of each pint of beer is donated to charity.

The school building is in the Ivywild neighborhood, southwest of the intersection of Brookside and Tejon Streets, tucked between Lower Skyway and the motels on Nevada Avenue. Upgrades include a vast glass brewhouse attached to Ivywild’s north end and two large dining patios.

Inside, original artwork from schoolchildren and exposed brick walls tie into upgrades and improvements to maintain the historic character.

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New school

By: Colorado Springs Independent

Though it’s only been a part of the city of Colorado Springs for around 30 years, the Ivywild neighborhood has roots going back to the early 1900s. And though that history’s taken a hit in the past decade, resurgence is in the air with the reimagining of Ivywild School.

The location at 1604 S. Cascade Ave. is blazing new trails in the booze, food and art worlds — to be rolled out in stages in the coming weeks — and we’re enthusiastically covering it here, as well as in audio slide shows, interview extras and photos galore. Let us know your thoughts, and cheers.

— Bryce Crawford

Bristol Brewing opens in Ivywild

By: Colorado Springs Business Journal

Mike and Amanda Bristol showing their first dollar made at the new Ivywild location.

Mike and Amanda Bristol showing their first dollar made at the new Ivywild location.

“We were ready to serve beer in there and ready to open,” said Amanda Bristol, who owns the brewery with her husband Mike. “It was a bit of a soft opening. Really, we just posted a sign on the door of the old brewery.”

Impromptu as it was, there was a healthy gathering of people in the old school house, Bristol said. Tuesday night regulars and neighborhood folks who got wind of the opening filled the space – not to capacity, but filled it all the same.

“It was just right,” Bristol said. “It wasn’t too packed. It was nice to kind of make sure the draft system was working.”

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Bristol Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs moves into renovated school, and more beer news

By Eric Gorski, The Denver Post


Bristol Brewing Co. of Colorado Springs moved into a renovated former elementary school south of downtown Colorado Springs, part of the $5 million Ivywild School project.

Where elementary school students once put pencil to paper, gold-medal winning pints of Scottish-style ale are now being poured.

After more than three years of planning and construction, Bristol Brewing Co. of Colorado Springs has moved into a renovated former elementary school south of downtown — the latest manifestation of the brewery’s fiercely local identity.

Bristol’s newly opened pub and larger brewing and packaging operation anchor the $5 million Ivywild School project, whose tenants will include a bakery, coffee bar, a retail outlet for a local farm and all-purpose meeting rooms.

“For us it’s just a next step that sets us up for quite a few years to come,” owner Mike Bristol said. “We’ve always had a big involvement in our community. To be in a place like this, a center for people to gather, I think we will really end up being part of a revitalization in this part of town.”

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Drinking beer in school: Preview the new Ivywild building

by Sam Baranowski, Fox21news.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — “>It might look like a school but the hall monitors won’t give you detention for drinking. They’ll just keep you in check.

“I am very excited to drink beer in school” . I’m just as excited to sell beer in school too!,” Mike Bristol exclaimed.

His brewery and partners like Venetucci Farms, Blue Star restaurant and Pikes Peak Urban Gardens are making local into a brand in the old Ivywild school.

For complete article click here

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