Dad Lives In Abandoned High School With His Wife And Baby After Transforming It Into Their Home

by Barbara Diamond
Barbara is a passionate writer and animal lover who has been professionally blogging for over 10 years and counting.

Nearly 20 years ago, Charles Shaw seized an amazing opportunity. In 1996, he and his wife Lisa bought an abandoned, vacant high school in Durango, Colorado. The 45,000-square-foot building was in poor shape, but its walls were solid brick. Charles saw the potential to make a long-time dream come true: to turn a large building into a mixed-use space that could become a vibrant community.

Courtesy of Respectful Revolution, you’re about to step inside this unbelievable up-cycled space.

At first, Charles envisioned a place for artists to come together. Over time and out of necessity, energy efficiency became another big issue. After all, the monthly utility bills costed him over $5,000. So, he switched all of the lighting over to LED and began controlling ventilation through motion sensors. All of the building’s electricity comes from solar panels. Now, the utility bills are just $300 a month!

Charles, Lisa and their young son live there, along with fellow artists and non-profits. Today, the “Smiley Building” has become a landmark in Durango. It is perhaps the most efficient, energy-independent building of its kind in the entire country.

After seeing the inside of the school (and especially the kitchen), I must admit… I wouldn’t mind moving in myself!

Please enjoy the tour of this high school home, and SHARE with your friends on Facebook!

Video Credit: Respectful Revolution / Facebook  / YouTube

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