Cherry Creek schools breaks ground on new innovation campus

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AURORA | Leaders from across the Cherry Creek School District took a moment on May 10 to don hardhats and break ground on the district’s planned Cherry Creek Innovation Campus.

The new building, set to open for the 2019-20 school year, will provide a place for students across Cherry Creek to attend college and career-preparedness classes. The campus is funded by the 2016 bond issue that was approved by voters. It is being built on a 42-acre lot near the Denver Broncos training facility in Centennial.

The concept behind the campus is to create a central home for many of the district’s career and technical education classes. Students will be able to attend classes on the campus while still being able to take classes at their home high school.  

Superintendent Harry Bull, who is set to retire at the end of this school year, said CCSD has a long reputation for preparing students for college. The new innovation campus shows the district is also committed to preparing students to find and train for careers after high-school graduation.

“When we talk about excellence for all kids, this is a new dimension for us,” Bull said. “We also have kids that now (that) we’re going to prepare for viable career opportunities. Things they can walk out of high school prepared to do, that will set them up with a career maybe for the rest of their lives. And still be prepared to go to college, if they choose to do so.”

The design for the new 150,000 plus square foot building was created with a group of stakeholders, including students in the district, who had input throughout the creative process. Since many students split their time between the new building and their home high schools, students were focused on making sure it felt like a school and not just a group of classrooms out in Centennial.

“We really wanted to make sure this campus felt like a home to the students who will come here,” said Lindsay Brown, a junior at Cherry Creek Trail High School.

The amount of land at the site means as the needs of CCSD grows, the district will be able to use the available land for future projects, Bull said.