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Candelas Site Set for Next New Jeffco School
Jeffco Public Schools - Chalk Talk Newsletter - Oct. 9, 2015

Last month, the Board of Education unanimously voted to build a new school at the Candelas site in Arvada. The site is 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 from kindergarten through sixth grade.

“As we look to the future and what Jeffco Schools will look like in 2020 and beyond, we envision this school will incorporate state-of-the-art facilities and safety features to ensure that we provide an optimal environment for learning,” said 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 Public 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 northwest corner of the county.

The projected cost of the new 625-student school will be $18 million, and will be complete within approximately 24 months. This new school will alleviate overcrowding at Meiklejohn Elementary, West Woods Elementary, and Van Arsdale Elementary.

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. The funds allocated for building costs are existing dollars, no loans are required to fund the project.

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.

The new school at the Candelas site is projected to open in the fall of 2017

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