Valerie and I moved from Crystal Lake, Illinois to Eagle, Colorado in 2015. We came to be closer to our kids. We came to ditch the untenable economy of Illinois. We came without jobs and took time off to explore our new world. We came to get away from urban stress. We came to the mountains.
And we love it here.
I didn’t work for the first year I was here. I had never taken that much time off, but I fought through the guilt and golfed, fished, babysat my granddaughter and just putzed around the house. It was great. In the fall of 2016, I was invited to play golf with a group of guys who I mostly didn’t know. On our way over Cottonwood Pass the driver, Patrick, pipes up … “so James” he askes “ what do you do?”
“Well I don’t do anything,” (Yea, a smart-ass reply because that was what I was doing then)
“OK, what did you used to do?” Patrick persists.
“I’m an architect” I replied, “I designed and built schools in Illinois for 25 years”
“You have to meet Tab Bonidy! He’s got the Eagle schools”
And so I did. I met Tab and Greg and started at TAB Associates in December of 2016. Who would of thunk it? We quit our jobs, sold our house, picked up all our toys and moved to this incredible place, and I land a job doing what I built my career from and love. Designing and building schools. Go figure.
In Illinois, I helped Boards of Education and School Administrators through needs analysis, visioning, programing, budgeting and successful community referendums. From there, I led architectural teams through design and construction of school projects. At TAB, I provide construction administration for the projects while they are being built; In the trenches, working with the district and contractors answering questions, reviewing products and helping make the myriad of decisions, big and little, that go into the complex, multi-use and very public building called a school. It’s the greatest.
Thinking back, there are a lot of favorites:
Niles Township High School: A STEM Lab before STEM Labs were popular
Woodstock SD 200: Bringing a second HS to a small town.
Wauconda SD 118: The first theater in the community.
Mundelein HSD 120: I must have spent at least 15 years to finally get an addition to their High School.
Now I’m here. Building the new schools on 3rd street where my grandchildren may attend. Very exciting.
Valerie and I love living and working in this valley. We golf, bowl, hike, fish, camp and try to take advantage of all the high country has to offer. We’ve made new friends and are building new relationships.