When Denver Public Schools opened the doors to the Emily Griffith Campus, the facility filled several purposes: it created a home for the first downtown elementary school in 100 years; it became home for the Emily Griffith High School and Technical College; and it created an opportunity to consolidate 1,200 school-supported center staff into one location. The new facility also continued the legacy of the Emily Griffith name, which has been synonymous with education and opportunity for nearly a century.
As a result of the project, the existing Emily Griffith site at Welton and Glenarm Streets will itself become a prospect for continued downtown revitalization, bringing jobs and renewed energy to the Cultural Core district and the city of Denver.
The new campus houses the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, Emily Griffith High School, Emily Griffith Technical College, Emily’s Café, a 14th floor kitchen and catering space with open collaboration spaces, new locker rooms, and continuing education facilities. Renovations included all new mechanical and electrical systems, conversion from steam to high-efficiency Aerco boilers, new automated building controls and life safety systems, upgrades to the elevators, and a complete gut renovation of the interior spaces to the building (originally built in 1962). Laboratories are mixed throughout the classroom spaces in the Technical College and the DPS facilities.
The project presented a number of challenges due to the unforeseen conditions of renovating a building that has been standing for more than 50 years. The building had also been renovated numerous times, which added to the challenges. PCL overcame all of these challenges and was able to deliver this fasttrack project ahead of schedule
The design-build project had numerous energy-efficient and environmentally friendly design elements incorporated into the project, including occupancy sensors, daylighting, low-flow toilets, LED lighting, and high-efficiency boilers. These green building elements will result in estimated yearly operating cost savings of nearly $210,000.