FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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July 31, 2019
School Leaders Propose New Facility for Montbello Campus
Community to Lead on Design of New Facility That Will House Three Schools
Denver – Denver Public Schools is asking the public to help design a Master Plan for a proposal to create a new school facility to replace the current building on the Montbello Campus in Far Northeast Denver. School leaders at Denver Center for International Studies – Montbello, Noel Community Arts School and STRIVE Prep – Montbello, who all share the Montbello Campus, are leading this effort.
Over the past three years, community members, school leaders and district leaders have worked to improve the building which housed the former Montbello High School from 1980 until 2014. Since that time, it has become a shared campus. The Board of Education approved this past February $2.5 million from bond savings to fund cafeteria improvements. School leaders expressed to DPS that they and community members think that the money being spent on maintenance and improvements to the 40-year-old building should spent on a new facility.
“Denver tax payers have invested $30 million over the last two bonds on heating and air conditioning fixes, classroom upgrades and other maintenance and renovations,” said NCAS Principal Rhonda Juett. “Still, our building needs more upgrades and repairs to bring the learning environment inside the building to where we know it can and should be for our kids.”
The proposal calls for using $300,000 to $400,000 of the bond savings to hire a team of architects to work with the Montbello community to design a new facility to house these three schools. Community members will help in the selection of the architects and on the Master Plan.
“I look forward to working with our students, parents and neighbors to plan for a building that will support high school education into the future,” said DCIS Principal Julio Contreras. “It is thrilling to know that we have this chance to create the learning spaces that all of our students deserve.”
Once the Master Plan is developed and an estimate for the cost of the new facility is determined, school and district leaders will take the information and designs to the Board of Education and ask that the new project be included in a bond proposal to Denver voters in 2020. If approved, construction could begin on the Montbello campus with minimal disruption to learning because there is enough land on the campus to build a new facility without having to relocate students and educators.
“These students deserve a better facility. Many of our classrooms do not even have windows,” said STRIVE Prep – Montbello Principal Lindsay Lau. “We have a great opportunity to do something really amazing. We are committed to this process. We have to do this the right way. Our kids, families and community deserve it.”
The next steps in the process include school and district officials meeting with Montbello families, community members and other stakeholders to choose an architect, at which point community conversations will inform planning for the new building. These conversations are scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.
Families who have questions about this proposal are asked to call the DPS Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Helpline at 720-423-3054.
Check out the announcement from Montbello campus school leaders, and sign up here to participate in upcoming conversations.