DENVER (EDNEWS COLORADO) - On Monday, Denver Public Schools was back in session. But one school in particular was in the spotlight.
DPS consolidated three entities, including the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, into the 13-floor building at 1860 Lincoln St. But students who plan to attend that new facility went back to school on Monday - just in the temporary building until the new DDES opens in January 2014.
Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Mayor Michael Hancock described the deal as a major boost to the vitality of the city's core that could also save the district between $5 and $15 million over the next five years through increased efficiencies.
"Downtown will finally have its elementary school," Hancock said to claps as the deal was announced in a classroom at Emily Griffith's decades-old current campus at 1250 Welton St. in December 2012. "We heard loud and clear, 'Bring an elementary school downtown.'"
Hancock also said the real estate shuffle provides an "upgraded facility for the seriously overcrowded Emily Griffith."
"To the people of Denver - you helped this happen," Hancock said, referring to the $466 DPS bond issue passed in November 2012.
Hancock pointed out that while the Emily Griffith building needs work, it also has the benefit of location, location, location for a prospective buyer since it is located next to the Colorado Convention Center.
The school district has already signed a contract to buy the vacant office building at 1860 Lincoln St. and renovate it to serve district administrators, teachers and students.
Boasberg said the district is using money designated in the 2012 bond to purchase the building. Bond documents call for $24.9 million to be spent on Emily Griffith, a school founded nearly a century ago to provide education to anyone who wanted it - regardless of age or station in life. The asking price of the building on Lincoln is $19.3 million.