Completion of two-year project expands district STEM-learning opportunities
The Five Star District will celebrate the completion of the two-year renovation and reconstruction of STEM Lab in Northglenn, one of the most significant projects of the voter-approved 2016 Bond Program.
The public is invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, at the school, 11700 Irma Drive. Construction recently completed on the $28 million project, which rebuilt much of the former district middle school to better meet the needs of the school's STEM learning curriculum and also allow school enrollment to expand.
Construction on the then 46-year-old building began in May 2017 with a first phase of work that included the construction of a new 25,000-square foot classroom wing on the east side of the building as well renovations to the school's gymnasium and cafeteria and construction of a new playground. When that work finished in May 2018, a second, year-long phase of work began that involved the demolition of much of the west side of the building including a former two-story classroom wing.
Once the rubble was cleared, contractors began work to build a second 25,000-square foot classroom wing, which also includes the school library and administrative area/main entrance.
The school remained open as staff and students shifted between old and new parts of the building while construction was completed.
Among the unique design features of the renovated school, each classroom pod features flexible learning areas and LEGO®/ Maker Spaces for students to construct and test projects. A “Building as a Teaching Tool” design philosophy will be carried throughout the design and will feature exposed building structural system and cross bracing, exposed mechanical ductwork and a viewing area to allow students to view and study information technology equipment.
Sustainable features include a new roof system with increased insulation, enhanced daylighting features, high-efficiency boilers, LED lighting and polished concrete floors which enhance durability and reduce maintenance costs. Reclaimed bleacher wood from the current school gym is also utilized as wall covering and student benches throughout the building.
The renovated building allows enrollment to grow from 475 current students to an anticipated 720 students. STEM Lab is a magnet school with admissions managed through the district's Schools of Choice Program. Admission priority is given to in-district students and determined by a lottery system based on the district's five Board of Education Director Districts.