History of the District

Updated on Thu, 11/14/2019 - 2:16pm
Adams 12 First Building

Pictured: Westlake School, the district's first school building. The renovated building still stands in Broomfield at 128th and Lowell. 

In 1902, the district’s first school opened with 48 students. The Westlake School, in what was then School District 34 before becoming a part of what is now Adams 12 Five Star Schools, included grades one through eight. One teacher was hired to teach all grades and was paid fifty dollars per month. Westlake School originally had a coal furnace and two double outhouses outside behind the school were the only bathrooms. However, the old Westlake School was one of the first rural districts in the area to have its own hot lunch program. After students completed the eighth grade the district paid tuition for students to attend high school in Lafayette, Colorado. The building, which still exists next to the Paul Derda Recreation Center in Broomfield, was used in different contexts for the district including an alternative high school in the 1970s. The district sold the building in 1994.

In 1910 a railroad was built twenty miles east of Westlake. The population in the area began to increase so Eastlake School was erected in 1920 to accommodate 110 students. A bond election for $25,000 was held on March 31, 1919, to finance construction. The school included all twelve grades, graduating its first class in 1923. At first there were only two teachers, one for grades one through eight, another for grades nine through twelve. Eventually the school expanded to include four classrooms and five teachers: one primary, two junior high, one high school, and one principal who also taught.

The original Eastlake School District 12 was organized in 1919 by consolidating the old Block School (East 120th and Colorado Blvd.) with the old Webster School (East 112th and Washington).

By 1950, our county area was still a very rural. There was no I-25 back then - the Valley Highway did not reach 120th St. until roughly 1955. In July of 1950, at the district's first board meeting, voters decided to form the present Adams County School District 12 by consolidating several smaller rural districts into one. All of District 20 Hutchinson and District 34 Westlake with parts of District 12 Eastlake, District 6 Burn Lee, District 16 Welby and District 27 Brighton. The remaining parts of Districts 6, 12, 16 and 27 went to District 27J Brighton. The district included schools such as Westlake, Burkley, Hutchinson, Webster, Buchkoltzs, and Pleasant View.

By 1953 Adams 12 had grown to 238 students and 11 teachers housed in two schools, Eastlake and Westlake. Westlake, in 1954, took grades six through nine; this left grades one through five to Eastlake; grades ten through twelve still went to neighboring high schools. In 1956, grades one through six went to Eastlake.

The new district included approximately sixty-two and a half square miles and encompassed all or parts of four cities and part of unincorporated Adams County: Northglenn, the major part of Thornton, parts of Broomfield and Westminster, as well as part of unincorporated Adams County. The district began serving students in Federal Heights at the opening of Federal Heights Elementary in 1973.

From 1950 to 1970, population in the area increased 400 percent. In the 1970's the population of Adams County grew at a 34 percent rate. In 1988, the district was renamed Adams 12 Five Star Schools and had nearly 21,000 students, 35 schools and 1,291 teachers.

Source: Liane Brouillette, School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder

Superintendents

  1. Mr. Daniel Stukey - 1954- 1972
  2. Dr. George Bailey - 1972 - 1982
  3. Dr. James Mitchell - 1982- 1994
  4. Dr. Judy Margrath Huge - 1994-2000
  5. Mr. Jim Christiansen - 2000-2003
  6. Mr. Michael Paskewicz - 2003 - 2009
  7. Mr. Christopher Gdowski - 2009 - Present

History of School Buildings

1902 - Westlake School (Sold)
1920 - Eastlake School (demo’d)
1955 - Thornton Elementary (no longer exists. Current Thornton ES built in 1976new building in 1978)
1956 - Meritt  Hutton Jr. Sr. High (torn down in 1992)
1959 - McElwain Elementary (demo’d in 2003, built new McElwain in 2004)
1960 - Hulstrom Elementary (> Studio School)
1962 – Coronado Hills Jr. High (later became an elementary, then demo’d to build current CHE in 2009)
1962 - Leroy Elementary
1962 - Hillcrest Elementary
1963 – Northglenn Middle School
1964 - Malley Drive Elementary
1964 - Huron Middle School (> Vantage Point High School)
1965 - Northglenn High School
1965 - Wyco Drive Elementary (>Hulstrom K-8 in 2007)
1966 - North Mor Elementary
1968 - Stukey Elementary
1969 - Westview Elementary
1971 - Northeast Middle School (> STEM Lab)
1972 – North Star Elementary

1972 - Woodglen Elementary
1973 - Federal Heights Elementary (burned down, later rebuilt in 1984)
1974 - Thornton High School
1974 - Bollman Technical Education Center
1975 - Westlake Middle School
1976 - Niver Creek Middle School (Formerly Pecos Jr. High – became STEM Launch)
1977 - Centennial Elementary
1978 - Cherry Drive Elementary
1979 - Cotton Creek Elementary
1980 - Mountain View Elementary
1980 - Tarver Elementary
1986 - Skyview Elementary
1987 - Hunters Glen Elementary
1987 - Horizon High School
1987 - Riverdale Elementary
1987 - Rocky Mountain Elementary
1992 - Int. School @ Thornton Middle
1998 - Eagleview Elementary
1998 - Arapahoe Ridge Elementary

1998 - Century Middle School
1999 - Coyote Ridge Elementary
2000 - Legacy High School
2001 - Glacier Peak Elementary
2002 - Educational Support Center
2003 - Prairie Hills Elementary
2003 - Shadow Ridge Middle
2003 - Horizon High School
2003 - The Studio School (used to be Hulstrom ES)
2004 - Meridian Elementary
2004 - Rocky Top Middle School
2005 - Pathways/Independence Academy
2006 - Silver Creek Elementary
2006 - Mountain Range High School
2007 - Stellar Elementary
2007 - Silver Hills Middle School
2007 - Hulstrom K-8 (used to be Wyco Drive ES)
2008 - Mountain View Elementary
2008 - North Stadium
2010 - Veteran's Memorial Aquatic Center
2011 – Consolidated Services Center with City of Thornton: Transportation and outside services
2018 - Thunder Vista P-8

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