DENVER - Denver Public Schools provided a look inside its new downtown campus on Wednesday. The 14-story complex located at 1860 Lincoln offers views of Denver's skyline from what will soon be classrooms.
DPS Chief Operating Officer David Suppes said the construction is about half way complete on the new campus. The work began in early 2013 after the district purchased the building at 19th and Lincoln St. for $19.34 million last December.
The building will soon be the new home for the DPS Administrative Office, which is currently located at 900 Grant St. It will also house three schools, the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, Emily Griffith Technology College and High School. A handful of other DPS staff currently at other school locations will also move to 1860 Lincoln.
The building renovations and moving costs are expected to total more than $65 million. It is being funded by 2012 bond proceeds and through a loan taken out by the district.
Suppes said the district plans to pay back that loan through the sale of a handful of its building, including 900 Grant and the Emily Griffith Technology College across from the convention center. He said that the project is on schedule and on budget so far.
"We know there's going to be some bumps as we get going in it, but we're just real excited, this creates such a neat opportunity for our school children," said Suppes.
The new downtown location creates some challenges for DPS, including security, traffic flow and parking for both students and staff in the high-rise building. Suppes said they are working to secure nearby parking spots, including more than a hundred parking spots underneath the building.
The district says it believes consolidating all of these schools and administrative offices will save money in the long-term. Its goal is to have all three schools and administrative staff moved in by October 2014. Suppes said all schools are slated to be ready and complete for the next school year in August.