School renovation steaming ahead
The Englewood High School site undergoes changes almost daily as crews continue the project to create a seventh- through 12th-grade campus.
“The construction focus right now is the completion of phase 1, which is what will eventually become the middle school wing,” said Brian Ewert, school superintendent. “That is to be completed by the time students leave for the winter break in December because, during the break, the Englewood Leadership Academy and the high school will move to the middle school wing so the high school buildings can be demolished.”
A good imagination was needed during a recent tour of the construction site at 3800 S. Logan St. to picture what most areas will become. It was easy to see what the middle school gymnasium would be because it is basically completed. However, descriptions of the new science classrooms, leadership academy area and other classrooms and facilities in what will be the middle school wing required imagination because, during the tour, the areas were either empty spaces or were marked off by lines of aluminum studs that will eventually support walls.
But the tour provided a feel for the layout of the new wing that will be a two-story structure running parallel to Logan Street.
“Phase one will eventually be the location for the middle school. But when it is completed later this year, it will be the temporary home of the high school classes,” Ewert said. “The temporary move will require a lot of cooperation from teachers and students as they have to pick up and move classrooms so the high school demolition can begin.”
He added that, by the end of 2014, the students and teachers will be in the new high school classrooms, the Englewood Middle School will move into the middle school wing and the former middle school building at West Chenango Avenue and South Delaware Street will become the new campus of Colorado’s Finest Alternative High School.
Ewert said the group that has it best during the shifting of locations is the Englewood Leadership Academy. The middle school wing includes their facilities and, when they move into that location over this year’s winter break, they will be in their permanent location.
All the buildings on the planned campus will be new except the auditorium and the field house. However, both of those buildings will undergo major renovations. The construction tour visited the auditorium where all seats had been removed, so the facility was just a big, empty room with a stage at one end.
The campus transformation will cost about $32 million, which is available because voters gave the district approval to sell $40 million in bonds. Approval of the bond sales enabled the district to have the $8 million needed to receive an $8 million state grant that will help fund the makeover of the Englewood Middle School facilities.