Published April 3, 2016
Thanks to Denver Voters, families in Northwest Denver are celebrating a bigger, brighter and more beautiful Escuela Valdez campus.
When Denver voters approved the 2012 DPS Bond, they funded a series of critical school community updates and construction projects supporting students across the Denver Public Schools – including renovations, expansions and new school buildings.
In Northwest Denver – a community critical to the passage of the 2012 DPS Bond – the community rallied around updates to its beloved Dual Language school Escuela Valdez, which has doubled as a community celebration and meeting place for families in the neighborhood.
One of the biggest needs for the school was in the campus ‘Cafetorium,’ where audiences for school community performances were often overflowing into the hallways.
“There wasn’t really a place before where we could celebrate our community’s accomplishments together as one big family,” said Jill Darlington, a teacher and parent to three students at Valdez. “Our community is so vibrant, and it didn’t feel like the building was equaling the strength of the community.”
Further needs included infusing more natural light into the campus, adding an elevator, providing ADA access to individuals with special needs, as well as a retrofit redesign of the 1970s-era open design classrooms to cut down on noise and distractions from neighboring hallways and groups of students.
When families discussed the need at Valdez ahead of the 2012 election, they rallied to support the passage of the 2012 DPS Bond.
“Never in my career have I see families and teachers and school leadership coming together to have one voice together and say, ‘We need this for our kids,'” said Escuela Valdez Principal Jessica Buckley.
The scope of the renovations and campus expansion was so great, the Valdez school community had to relocate for the 2014-15 school year to the Smedley campus two miles away.
In mid-August, students, families and community leaders gathered together to cut the ribbon and take their first looks at a bigger, brighter and more beautiful Escuela Valdez campus – something that could not have happened without the Denver community’s support of the 2012 DPS Bond.
“Thank you to the Denver community for supporting us and making this happen,” Buckley said.