Opportunity Abounds

In April of 2014, Denver Public School (DPS)’s Emily Griffith Campus​​ opened its doors with the same mission as the pioneering leader for whom it’s named, to ensure every child succeeds, and that opportunities are available to “all who wish to learn.” Today’s new campus houses four different programs, all aimed at serving the community as a whole.

The Emily Griffith Campus’ mission to ensure that
every child succeeds is proudly displayed above
the front entryway.

Students at the K-5 school located within the Emily
Griffith Campus enjoy the new and exciting indoor

Denver Public School’s Emily Griffith Campus
houses four different programs, all aimed at serving
the community as a whole.

The Emily Griffith Technical College, Emily Griffith High School, Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, and the DPS School-Support Center are all accommodated at the Emily Griffith Campus. In addition to providing a modern, updated learning facility, the new campus provides amenities, including a student-run barber shop, salon, and café.
The creation of the Emily Griffith Campus consolidated operations from many different administrative locations, enabling and fostering collaborative learning, teaching, and development opportunities for not only students and their families, but the entire downtown Denver community.

21st Century Learning Environment

A technological marvel in its heyday of the 1960s, the aging building needed significant upgrades for its conversion to a multiuse, vertically integrated, facility; these included new air ventilation systems and more access points, as well as a complete redo of the mechanical system.
“Adapting an old office building to meet the needs of four very different types of programs was a challenge,” said Lucas Mallory, manager of special projects for PCL Construction. “It was also exciting because repurposing older buildings, especially to serve the community in this way, is an honor and one I’m happy to have had a hand in.”
The adaptive reuse of this building was a fast-track, design-build project completed in just 18 months. Through creative solutions and a phased construction plan, PCL Construction and HCM Architects were able to upgrade the building while meeting the timelines of DPS, which meant opening in time for school.
Owing to the great work of all project members, the Emily Griffith Campus has garnered several awards, including the Socially Responsible Project Award from the Denver Business Journal’s inaugural Real Estate Champions Awards, the Award of Merit in K–12 Construction, and the Safety award from Engineering News-Record – Mountain States. It was also honored at the 54th Downtown Denver Awards presented by the Downtown Denver Partnership.
The design team was chosen to present a case study on the project at the Design Build Institute of America’s national Design-Build Conference, held this year in Denver, CO, November 2–4. Their session is “Denver Public Schools Emily Griffith Campus—Winning with Budget, Schedule and Quality” presented on November 3 from 3 to 4:15 p.m.

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