District announces land purchase for new CTE campus

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 8:00am
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Location in growing business corridor offers new partnership opportunities

Adams 12 Five Star Schools has purchased land to build a second Career and Technical Education (CTE) campus  that will provide expanded career training opportunities for high school students in  the center of the Denver metro-area’s fastest growing business corridor.

The district closed on an agreement Oct. 2 to purchase 10.05 acres of land at the southwest corner of the intersection of 126th Avenue and Washington Street in Thornton for $1.3 million. The money for the land purchase as well as the design and construction of the new campus comes from a $350 million bond program approved by district voters in 2016.

The land acquisition follows an 18-month land selection process slowed by the challenge of finding a location that could meet the diverse needs of a CTE curriculum within the bustling north Interstate 25 corridor, which recently welcomed an Amazon distribution warehouse, a large retail mall and has numerous other slated commercial developments.

“Findig an existing building or vacant land that would not only meet our current need for CTE programming but also provide room for future expansion proved to be incredibly challenging, said District Chief Operations Officer Pat Hamilton. “This location, within an active business park and close to so many industry partners, places students seeking career training opportunities in the heart of a thriving business community and puts Five Star Schools in a prime position to expand business partnerships to provide new opportunities for students.”

The district’s community-led Long Range Planning Advisory Committee worked alongside district staff in evaluating land options for the new campus, which also included analysis of available warehouse space and existing district-owned property.

The construction of a second centrally-located CTE campus to meet a growing student demand for career training was identified as a priority of the voter-approved bond. The bond also provides money for a significant renovation of the district’s existing Bollman Technical Education Center, near 88th Avenue and Washington Street in Thornton. The district anticipates, through the construction of the new campus and renovation of Bollman, CTE programming opportunities for students could increase by as much as 80 percent.

Anticipated programming at the new campus will include existing district CTE programs such as construction trades, welding, an introductory diesel mechanic course and an EMT training program. New proposed programming includes criminal justice, forensic science and fire science programs as well as an advanced diesel mechanic program. Bollman, which opened in 1974, will continue to offer a medical science program, auto technician courses, engineering, graphic design, video production and computer science. Potential new programming is tentatively expected to include an auto body collision program as well as new manufacturing courses.

Cuningham Group Architecture was selected to handle the design of the new CTE campus as well as the Bollman renovation to create unique designs for each facility that also connect the schools as part of a district-wide CTE program. Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP) has been selected as the general contractor for the new campus.

 A Design Advisory Group of current CTE staff, parents and community members began meeting this past spring to guide the design process for the estimated 45,000-square-foot facility. Construction on the new campus is expected to begin in Spring 2019 with an anticipated Fall 2020 opening.

AP Construction will also handle the Bollman renovation, which is expected to begin in Spring 2019.