Jeffco School Board Unanimously Approves Candelas Site for Next New School Site and Asks Staff to Begin Process for a Possible Bond in 2016
Location driven by rapid growth in Jefferson County north of I-70
Golden, CO – September 3, 2015 – Last night, the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to build a new school at the Candelas site in Arvada, a 25-acre parcel of land on Colorado Highway 72 between West 94th Avenue and El Diente Court. The new school is projected to seat 625 students and the Board will decide whether it is a K-6 or K-8 school at the September 24 Board meeting.
“As we look to the future and what Jeffco Schools will look like in 2020 and beyond, we envision this school to incorporate state-of-the-art facilities and safety features to ensure that we provide an optimal environment for learning,” said Jeffco Superintendent Dan McMinimee. “This is just the start of Jeffco Schools’ facilities plans to accommodate growth in our northwest area.”
The growth of the Jeffco Schools’ facilities needs has increased dramatically over the past 24 to 36 months, which compressed the original 15-year facilities plan to a five- to seven-year plan. According to a presentation given to the school board at the August 27, 2015 board meeting, the district is projecting a potential shortfall of student seats due to increasing residential developments that are attracting families in the NW corner of the county. The projected cost of the new 625-student school will be $18 million, which will deliver 62,000 square feet in approximately 24 months. This new school will alleviate overcrowding at Meiklejohn Elementary, West Woods Elementary, Van Arsdale Elementary and, depending upon configuration, Oberon Middle School.
Of the $18 million package, the building costs are estimated to be $10.45 million ($170 per square foot) with site development costs at just over $3.1 million and other soft development costs, such as architecture and engineering fees, surveying, testing, and inflation costing approximately $4.3 million.
While the district decided to move forward with the Candelas site, the two additional sites under consideration likely will be developed in the future as well as Phase II of Sierra Elementary School. The district needs will not be fulfilled with just one additional school. Other future urgent needs in this fast growing region include a 250-seat Phase II project at Sierra Elementary School, a Table Rock Mesa PK-8 school, a K-6 school at Leyden Rock, and an expansion at Ralston Valley High School. To address these future needs, the Board unanimously directed district staff to begin the process of putting together a bond package for November of 2016.
About Jeffco Public Schools
Serving more than 86,000 students, Jeffco Public Schools is one of the largest districts in the nation, with 18 public high schools. Jeffco’s mission is to provide a quality education that prepares all children for a successful future. Jeffco values integrity, teamwork, people, and exemplary performance in order to fulfill its mission.