Charter High School Joins Mix at North Park

September 12, 2013 Posted In

Written By: Joshua Lindenstein

The new projects are starting to roll in for McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc., at its 935-acre North Park development in northeast Broomfield.
Jay Hardy, McWhinney’s general manager of North Park, said Thursday that Prospect Ridge Academy, a charter school that opened at 2555 Preble Creek Parkway with grades K-8 last year, is slated to break ground on a high school Nov. 1.
The news comes a little more than a week after satellite imaging company DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI)announced that it would be moving its headquarters from Longmont to the North Park development by 2015.
North Park sits west of Interstate 25 between Highway 7 and the Northwest Parkway, stretching west to the Anthem neighborhood. In December, University of Colorado Health bought 66 acres from McWhinney along Highway 7 where it plans to build a medical campus, though the specific makeup of that hasn’t been determined yet. In addition, Hardy said a 10-acre parcel near Prospect Ridge should go under contract with an undisclosed entity in the next 30 days.
“That certainly puts some nice anchors in the ground for us,” Hardy said.
The new high school, slated to open in August, will sit on a 10-acre parcel just northeast of the K-8 school. DLR Group Inc., of Denver is serving as architect, and JHL Constructors Inc. of Centennial will be the contractor.
Dustin Jones, a consultant with Education Facility Solutions LLC who represents Prospect Ridge, said the high school will include just more than 49,000 square feet of space at a project cost of just less than $8 million. There will be capacity for 600 students, though it will start out with only freshmen next fall. Prospect Ridge K-8 is at capacity with a little more than 900 students this fall.
The first phase of the high school will include the entire building, with athletic fields and a track following and a five-year option to expand on more adjacent North Park land. The school falls under the Adams 12 Five Star School District’s umbrella, though charter schools are more autonomous in their operations than regular public schools. The new high school will be paid for mainly with public funds financed by the school through a tax-exempt bond, Jones said.
Nothing is under construction at North Park, but Hardy said that will change over the next few months with the school and a couple of other projects coming online.
The development is entitled to 17 million square feet of commercial, office and light industrial apace, as well as 6,600 residential units. All of the housing will be townhomes, condominiums and apartments. The development has committed 220 acres to open space, including a 1.8-mile long linear park. Billed as a new north tech center for the Denver area, North Park will also include a 150-acre corporate and research center.
DigitalGlobe has purchased about 25 acres between Preble Creek Parkway and 160th Avenue, with an option to purchase 17 more, where it will build its 400,000-square-foot headquarters.
Hardy, who said North Park would take roughly 20 years to build out, said he anticipates the development also including satellite campuses for some of the state’s universities like what turned up at McWhinney’s development in Loveland.

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