Major Construction Projects
2012 Bond Helps Florence Crittenton Continue To Serve Teen Moms
It’s an all too familiar story: boy meets girl, girl gets pregnant, and girl drops out of high school to take care of their baby. Teen pregnancy not only can lead to dropping out of school, but it has been linked to several critical social issues for teen moms and their children. It is a cycle that can both cause poverty and be a result of it, and it’s one that Florence Crittenton High School is helping to reverse.
Florence Crittenton Services, a nonprofit originally founded in 1893 to support impoverished single women, is currently Denver’s largest provider of services to teen mothers and their children. At the Florence Crittenton High School they seek to not only educate their students, but also to prepare and empower them for the life ahead.
Starting this August, DPS and Florence Crittenton Services will begin a joint-funded construction project to overhaul the agency’s entire campus, including their high school. DPS will be renovating and rethinking existing spaces at the high school as well as adding key elements to help the program continue to succeed. We have designed 12 multifunctional classrooms for the high school including breakout spaces with movable walls for a very flexible learning environment. We will also be adding a new media center, a new gym and relocating the administrative space. In addition, Florence Crittenton will be adding a health center for their students that will house a counseling center, 3 exam rooms, a pharmacy, and will be the first school-based heath center in the state to offer obstetric services.
When this addition is complete in the fall of 2015, more than 70 new students will be able to attend Florence Crittenton High School each semester. And, because of the nature of the school, more students at the high school means more babies on the campus. This means that the Early Learning Center, which was built to serve the children of Florence Crittenton students, will be expanding too. Currently the ELC has the space to serve 66 children, ages 0-3 years old, at any given time. For fall 2015, they are adding four classrooms and programming through ECE to increase their capacity to serve up to 111 children ages 0-4 years old.
The services provided by Florence Crittenton High School are extremely important to our community, and they admirably carry the torch of a proud organization. Florence Crittenton has transformed many times over its 120-year history but it has always stood for a better life for disadvantaged women. At DPS we believe that every student should receive an equitable learning experience regardless of their situation in life. We are proud to align our values with Florence Crittenton’s to update the facilities for their young families – to help them create a space where young mothers feel welcome and well equipped to get a great education.
Thank you Denver voters! Without your support of the 2012 Bond, it would have been impossible for us to invest this much-needed program, in this way.
DPS Strives For Inclusive Construction Contracting
For over twenty years, the DPS Business Diversity Outreach Program (BDOP) has been in place to help guide DPS’ endeavors in involving diverse businesses with our construction projects. The BDOP is the only program of its kind for a Colorado school district, and it has helped promote inclusion in construction and construction related contracting for the various bond-funded capital improvement projects throughout the city.
In the past year, DPS Board of Education and our staff have taken significant steps to provide greater opportunity to diverse construction suppliers and teams through enhancing the Business Diversity Outreach Program. A cross-discipline team of DPS employees is now assigned to evaluate our current policies and BDOP processes to determine where we have room for improvements.
Our system is continually becoming more inclusive, and, we are now working with independent consultant group MGT of America to help us towards this end. MGT is conducting a quantitative (phase I) and qualitative (phase II) study that will evaluate the diverse business availability in our market compared to our utilization. While phase I is mostly focused on data collection, phase II of the study seeks to gather qualitative data from vendors in our market about their experiences with DPS to inform how we effectively change our practices for the better.
MGT is presently finishing up Phase I of their study and should be finished later this month. Concurrently, Phase II has begun and they will be hosting public hearings for local vendors to share their experiences in June and July. Along with these hearings, MGT will be conducting surveys and interviews with businesses that have done, or attempted to do, business with DPS to further understand what the barriers have been to diverse participation.
As always, we are striving to make sure that everything we do at DPS is aligned with our values as an organization. In evaluating this process, we felt like there was more that we could do to ensure equity in our contracting and to be accountable and integrious to our community. We look forward to updating you with our new program after the MGT study is complete at the end of the summer.
For more on our diversity and inclusion efforts, please visit businessdiversity.dpsk12.org
Cutting the Ribbon at Downtown Denver Expeditionary School
After years of anticipation, the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School has finally cut the ribbon at their new school. The program, which began the year in another Denver Public Schools building, started classes in their new downtown location yesterday where they’ll finish out the school year. The DDES staff is extremely excited to move into their new home, so they can take advantage of all that downtown Denver has to offer and fulfill their mission of serving downtown Denver families.
The Downtown Denver Partnership reported that a downtown elementary school was identified as one of the top five requested amenities that would attract and retain families to downtown Denver and city center neighborhoods.
Along with the Downtown Denver partnership, the school plans to use the various resources downtown to enrich the learning experience for their students. The list of options is vast in Denver’s city hub, but here are some of the opportunities on their radar: Children’s Museum of Denver, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Harmony Project, Think360 Arts and Earth Force.
DDES is the first group to move into the 13-story “Emily Griffith Campus” which will also be home to the Emily Griffith High School, the Emily Griffith Technical College, and the school support staff for Denver Public Schools. It is the first campus in downtown Denver to serve all ages.
Breaking Ground at Crofton
We formally kicked off the 2012 Bond-funded renovation at the Crofton school building today! The staff and families of University Prep, whose program is housed in the historic building, celebrated as construction begins on the $3M school renovation and addition project that will add 8,000 more square feet to the site, which is room for 150 more students! Construction crews wasted no time getting to work to make sure that the school will be all ready for next fall.
By fall 2014 the Crofton school building, in the historic Five Points District, will tell a story of more than a century of architecture. The original building was designed in 1879 by legendary 19th Century architect Robert S. Roeschlaub. The Twenty-fourth Street School, as it was known, originally sat on 24th & Market, and is cited as the first stone school building in Denver.
While Roeschlaub was noted as “an architect par excellence of the late nineteenth century urban school”, this particular 8-classroom design simply could not meet the rising demand of the area in that time. After an expansion to the original school in 1900, the building was eventually sold in 1913 and actually served as an early site for the Emily Griffith School.
The new Twenty-Fourth Street School was erected in Crofton’s current location at 24th and Arapahoe in 1919. The school returned as a staple in the community, and often was a key resource for its residents, especially during the Great Depression. During the 1930s, the school even provided showers to their students, many of whom came from homes that did not have proper bathing facilities.
In 1948, Denver voters like you approved an addition to the Twenty-fourth Street School and in 1958 that addition was completed to help accommodate for the population surge in Five Points at that time. Shortly thereafter the school was renamed Crofton School in honor of Mary Crofton, a DPS teacher from 1918 to 1942.
This fall, the campus will combine elements of the 1919 structure, the 1958 addition and the brand new expansion for a very unique learning environment. All of these elements serve as a physical testament to the growth and prominence of an historic neighborhood throughout various times in the past century. Thank you, Denver voters, for helping us keep pace with you from 1879 to present day!
Dunkirk, now officially named Frances Jacobs, looks like it is coming down the home stretch. The campus is schedule to be substantially complete in May, and it looks like they are well on their way. This school will add 31 classrooms for 550-650 students to accommodate for the growth in the Green Valley Ranch & Singletree neighborhoods.
1 Down, 1 To Go @ Colorado Heights
Thanks to Denver voters’ support of the 2012 Bond, Denver Public Schools opened the doors to a brand new middle school, on the Colorado Heights University campus last fall. The middle school opened as phase I of a two-phase build out including both middle and high school facilities that serve as the latest home for Denver School of Science & Technology. There has been a recognized need for quality middle and high school seats in Southwest Denver and this middle school is helps to alleviate some of that demand with over 36,000 square feet of learning space.
In fall 2014, Phase 2 of the project will be complete with the addition of the high school facility, gym, locker rooms, and fitness center. The high school building will be 2 stories and over 63,000 square feet, including shared extracurricular spaces for both buildings. Between the middle and high school, DPS will be able to serve 950-1000 more students in Southwest Denver thank to our voters!
For more information on this, and all major bond projects, please visit bond.dpsk12.org
Conservatory Green Has Gone Vertical!
Just 2 weeks ago we broke ground at Conservatory Green, just north of Northfield, and things are already headed in the right direction – up. This K-8 school, which is funded through the Stapleton Tax Incentive Fund, will be home to Hi-Tech Academy for Elementary and DSST for Middle School starting in fall 2014.
Extra Space at McGlone For Our Youngest Students
Thanks to Denver Voters and the 2012 Bond, Denver Public Schools is addressing necessary school construction, renovation and expansion needs throughout the city.
At McGlone Elementary DPS has added an 8-classroom addition to address the growing enrollment and to facilitate the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program’s expansion.
ECE students now have a building to call their own, learning in an environment specifically built for them: McGlone Early Learning Center.
DPS is also making some mechanical upgrades in the existing McGlone Elementary School building and replacing the Kitchen Makeup Air Unit
Escalante-Biggs Adds Room for Nearly 100
In 2011, the Escalante-Biggs Center for Early Education was built in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, and has set the standard for ECE Centers in the city. Students have thrived in the 21st century learning environment that includes unique breakout spaces built into the hallways, and windows on both outside and inside facing walls that allow daylight to permeate throughout the building.
When Escalante-Biggs was built in 2011, it was designed to grow. DPS recognized a rising need for Early Childhood Education seats and was poised to meet that need, when funds were available. With the passing of the 2012 Bond, we were able to expand the school’s footprint and on August 26, 2013 the Escalante-Biggs community opened the doors to their phase-2 addition. The six-classroom expansion flows seamlessly into the original structure and allows the school to add 99 more students as well as expand their art program. The new space also includes a multipurpose room to facilitate extracurricular activities. In total, the addition is 12,400 square feet of new learning space for this unique set of learners.
Studies have shown that Early Childhood Education has a huge impact on students’ success throughout their matriculation in education. Nevertheless, throughout the city of Denver many families with 4 year olds were finding the same issue: there weren’t enough ECE options. DPS has recognized this need, and is making tremendous strides to provide more options at this all-too-critical time in a child’s education. The expansion of Escalante-Biggs is just one of many efforts to expand full-day ECE programming to an additional 850 DPS students by fall 2014.
Ground Has Broken at Dunkirk
Thanks to Denver voters and their approval of the 2012 Bond, construction is well underway at Dunkirk Elementary School in the Green Valley Ranch. The area, which is growing quickly, is in great need of schools for children in grades from Early Childhood to 5th Grade. This project goes a long way to alleviating that need for extra seats at the elementary school level. The Dunkirk site is nearly 77,000 square feet, and will have 31 classrooms for as many as 650 students in the Far-Northeast region of Denver.
The school will be home to Highline Academy, a charter program encouraging inclusion, diversity and a vision of bringing families and students from all walks, together.
Pascual LeDoux Academy Opens Up With A Bang
Senator Michael Bennet and Superintendent Tom Boasberg joined Pascual LeDoux Academy as they opened their doors for the very first time! This brand new Early Education Center is located in Southwest Denver and will serve 288 students this fall. For more on this new school, the legacy of its namesake, and DPS’ overall efforts to add ECE seats around Denver, check out this video: http://youtu.be/Yl8ApLxf0i0.
For more pictures check out our album on Facebook here
‘Opening Day’ For The Bond
This fall, we are opening the doors to 2 brand new facilities and 5 school additions across the city. This means that in the first year of the 2012 Bond, we are adding over 900 seats for Denver’s kids and over 112,000 square feet of learning space. DPS is the fastest growing school system in the nation and we are proud to have the opportunity to add space for almost 1000 new students this year. This is a testament to the hard work of our educators to commit to excellence, the support of our parents to take ownership in our schools, and the courage of the broader community to believe in our vision and help us bring it to fruition. And, even with that strong foundation in place, none of this work would be possible with out the dedicated staff of our planning and construction teams. We thank the entire DPS community for making this possible and welcome you to check out the pictures above, of students in our new facilities.
Green Heat Relief
Across our school system, several schools are exploring cooling solutions this summer through Heat Mitigation. The Heat Mitigation process uses multiple methods, as a system, to keep our schools cooler for longer throughout the day.
In the Heat Mitigation approach, hot air is purged from buildings during the night, so we can take advantage of the naturally low nightly temperatures of Denver. Along with bringing in cooler air, this process chills the structure of the building (tile floors, brick walls, etc), which helps to maintain colder temperatures for longer.
This Heat Mitigation approach is an environmentally friendly process that optimizes the nightly temperature drop in Denver. Through this process, we are meeting our goals of being good stewards of Bond funds as well as good stewards of the environment while making our schools more comfortable places to be.
Interns Get In The Field
School is out, but these students are still hard at work. The Construction Services interns are working with our team for 8 weeks this summer to learn many different aspects of construction including Project Management, Architecture, and Engineering. In the picture above, you can see them doing their part to complete the new $5.5M Pascual LeDoux Center for Early Education that will open this fall for up to 250 pre-K students.
Almost Done At Whiteman
Things are wrapping up at Whiteman! The Denver Language School is adding over 6800 sq ft of space, in a $1.9M investment, that will include 4 classrooms and a multipurpose area. The photos above show the progress from the beginning.
Old Meets New At Escalante-Biggs
One of our toughest challenges when adding on to a building is making sure that students on both sides of the addition have equitable experiences. The addition should look like it was supposed to be there the whole time, both inside and out. The shot above shows where the new addition at Escalante-Biggs meets the current building. As you can see, we are doing are best to make the new space transition seamlessly into what already exists.
We are adding an 8-classroom cottage to McGlone this summer and things are coming along quite nicely. The addition is a $3.7M investment, and will accommodate for the growing enrollment at McGlone and help facilitate the expansion of their ECE program this fall.
Brown International Develops With Neighborhood
Northwest Denver is developing rapidly, and the Highlands neighborhood has become one of the fastest changing areas in town. More and more young families are moving in, and the need for elementary school seats in this community continues to rise. As a result, Brown International Elementary School, located on 26th and Lowell, has experienced considerable growth with this recent boom.
The school’s enrollment has grown by more than 30% in the past 3 years, and while this growth is exciting, it became overwhelming. Teachers and administrators had to become very flexible and creative in their limited space to accommodate the growing number of students. Art programs that once had their own classrooms have now moved to shared spaces such as the cafeteria and auditorium. Some of the storage spaces were converted into classrooms or intervention rooms to allow students to get more focused attention. To put it mildly, Brown was busting at the seams.
Recognizing this disparity, Denver Public Schools placed Brown on a list of capacity concerns that needed to be addressed with the 2012 Bond. DPS worked closely with the school and its stakeholders to identify a comprehensive list of the community’s needs. Both sides met for months working through the school’s requirements and the current use of the facility as well as forecasting for the future. With the community buy-in, DPS developed a plan that made sense for everyone.
Thanks to Denver voters, Brown will be enjoying a 4-classroom addition to their existing building for the 2013-14 school year. Along with the classroom additions, the playground is being reconfigured to accommodate more students, areas adjacent to the addition are being renovated to ensure building equity, and the roofing will be replaced throughout the building. We are extremely excited about these renovations and what they will mean to this neighborhood.
Slavens School Is Growing!
Located in the Wellshire neighborhood, Slavens was originally built as an elementary school, but was converted to a K-8 in the late 1990s as need in that community grew. To accommodate the steady neighborhood growth, Slavens is currently adding capacity to accommodate 750 students, including a new, K-8 sized gym as well as making upgrades to the art, computer, and science programs. Check out the progress above and check back for more news about Slavens and other Bond 2012 projects.
Byers Deconstruction Project
Denver Public Schools has partnered with the National Center for Craftsmanship (NCC) to create a unique, hands-on learning opportunity for high school students who are interested in the field of construction. Since April 29th, construction management students in the district have been getting valuable experience by helping with the initial deconstruction of Byers Middle School. The school’s renovation will be complete August 2015, and is funded by the 2012 Bond.
Overview of the 2012 Mill Levy - to learn about what the 2012 mill levy will mean to the students of DPS, please click on the image below.
Bond Update – March 18
DPS Bond Program Management & Construction Services presented the 2013 list of projects to the Board of Education on Monday, March 18. Please click here to view that presentation, which also includes the preliminary timeline for other major projects in 2014 and 2015. The complete list of all bond projects is expected to be released in late March and will be posted on this site when finalized.
Mill Levy Update – February 25
The DPS team is quickly working to launch the mill levy investments for the 2013-14 school year. A summary budget with the allocation methodology was presented to the Board of Education in January and can be accessed here.
Oversight Update – February 21
Two oversight committees, one each for the bond and mill levy, containing 15 members of the community kicked off this week. The purpose of these committees is to ensure that the funds are spent as was originally presented to the Board and that appears in the ballot language. The meetings are open to the public and will be listed on the bond oversight and mill levy oversight pages.