With the approval of the 2016 DPS Bond and Mill Levy – which passed by a nearly 2-to-1 margin – Denver Public Schools (DPS) is already well underway in planning a series of major improvement projects that will benefit every DPS student. The projects will upgrade schools from the baby-boomer era (1950s-70s) for the students of today, and bring them to life through a focus on priorities within the Denver Plan 2020.
In some cases, the work to improve schools is already underway. DPS awarded the first contract of the 2016 Bond to McKinstry, a construction company that will manage an overhaul of the heating and cooling system at the Montbello Campus in Far Northeast Denver. Watch the DPS Features of this celebration online here. Needless to say, students at the campus were ecstatic to hear the news.
“I spent a majority of my summer advocating [for the bond and mill levy] as a canvasser,” said Omar Ortiz, a senior at the Noel Community Arts School (NCAS) at the Montbello Campus. “It brings warmth to my heart knowing that not only did it pass, but (also) that my campus will be receiving the improvements that have been needed for so long.”
The improvements will ensure temperatures are not only more stable during Denver’s notoriously hot spells at the beginning of the school year, but also throughout frigid days in the winter.
“The Montbello campus is the heart of the Montbello community,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “It’s so important that we support you and give you the learning environment you deserve. These improvements are at the heart of the 2016 Bond.”
Meanwhile, at the heart of the 2016 Mill Levy is a focus on developing the Whole Child, strengthening early literacy, and preparing students for college and careers. Aside from school-determined investments like the Montbello Campus improvements, the 2016 DPS bond investments will include an expansion of technology opportunities, with $150 assigned to each student.
DPS will also make a switch from florescent lighting to more efficient – both in terms of cost and environmental impact – LED lighting across the district. The campus improvements at Montbello, for example, will save DPS $150,000 a year.
Along with the 2016 DPS bond and mill levy comes a commitment to expanding contracting opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. As part of that initiative, McKinstry has committed to ensuring at least 25 percent of subcontractors will be part of that demographic, with a priority on hiring companies based in Denver.
“It’s about making sure that we are growing a very strong base here in Denver that represents the community we serve, and the community of taxpayers whose dollars are funding these projects,” Boasberg said.
For more information on the 2016 bond and mill levy, visit bond.dpsk12.org.