The countdown to summer break means the kickoff to a busy season of construction. Exciting improvements are happening all summer long, thanks to the voter-approved 2016 bond measure. The Construction Services team is working districtwide to bring updates and renovations to our buildings — all before the start of the new school year!
Projects ranging from new additions and classroom renovations to critical maintenance updates and athletic facilities will be completed and ready to welcome back students and staff. This summer, we will focus on creating quality learning environments, updating and maintaining our facilities, and expanding our capacity to meet the needs of our students.
While some schools will undergo major construction, not all summer projects require hard hats — a fresh coat of paint or new flooring has the power to transform and brighten a learning environment. The Innovative Classrooms program provides over 150 schools with flexible funds to make these types of visible improvements. Over the summer, DPS will complete 51 Innovative Classroom projects.
High Impact Improvements Designed with the Community
Major updates are coming to four school campuses this summer in the first phase of Focused Investment projects — a program that provides funds for visible improvements to schools built during the 1950’s and 60’s that are in need of renovations.
Focused Investment projects transform outdated spaces into flexible and dynamic learning environments. But what makes these projects unique is that the design and vision for the improvements comes directly from the students, staff and community that use the facilities on a day-to-day basis.
Each school brings together teachers, leaders, students and parents to participate in a collaborative design process, starting by forming a Design Advisory Group (DAG). The group works with a DPS Construction Services staff member and architect through a series of meetings to identify and prioritize improvement needs in their building. Once complete, the architect develops final designs and options that reflect the community’s vision for their school.
At George Washington High School, members of the DAG wanted to refresh both the exterior and interior of their building. All-new energy efficient exterior windows and updates to the library, locker rooms and select science labs will change the image of the school, both inside and out.
On the Abraham Lincoln shared campus, the three schools came together to identify common priorities that will benefit all of the students. In this powerful example of collaboration across schools, the DAG decided to pool their resources to complete bathroom remodels, expand special education facilities and add lighting to the athletic field.
Maintenance: Keeping Our Current Facilities Strong
This summer, DPS will install cooling solutions at multiple schools to help keep classrooms at a comfortable temperature during the hot months of the school year.
DPS is also committed to making our schools more energy efficient. New LED bulbs at 18 buildings will increase the quality of light in classrooms while decreasing energy use. Over the next two years, DPS will replace all fluorescent fixtures with LED bulbs, an effort that will dramatically reduce energy consumption.
Expanding Capacity to Meet Student Needs
New capacity construction is well on its way at two schools and two shared campuses. Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS), Denver Language School, and the shared campuses of Conservatory Green and Paul Sandoval are all growing to meet the needs of their students.
The GALS community needed spaces that supported their student population and unique curriculum. The new addition of nine new classrooms, a multi-use cafetorium, artificial turf field and expanded parking will transform the building and facility.
Over at Paul Sandoval shared campus, many exciting construction projects will begin this summer. We will expand the campus’ shared facilities, including a full-service kitchen and gym with weight and fitness rooms. Additional space on campus will be converted into a library at Northfield High School — becoming an inspiring and enriching environment for their International Baccalaureate students.
Big changes are coming to the Denver Language School as well. Once complete, their second story addition will add five new classrooms to their original 1950’s building — completely changing the exterior look while increasing capacity.
Thank You, Denver Voters!
All of these improvements would not be possible without the support of Denver voters. The 2016 bond provides DPS with $572 million to improve our facilities, including critical maintenance updates, new capacity projects, quality learning environments, and technology and safety needs. This financial investment is helping us build and sustain great schools in every neighborhood, where every child can learn, grow and succeed.
Stay up to date on the progress of summer projects by visiting bond.dpsk12.org.