Broomfield’s sixth charter school—Prospect Ridge Academy—recently opened its 45,000-sq-ft school building in North Park at the northwest corner of Preble Creek Parkway and Sheridan Parkway, immediately adjacent to the Anthem residential community, one of the fastest growing communities in Colorado. North Park, a 935-acre mixed-use community developed by Loveland-based developer McWhinney, is located just west of I-25 and Highway 7—a major growth corridor along the Front Range.
Prospect Ridge Academy is the first project to be completed at North Park. Prospect Ridge Academy, a new public Adams 12 district-approved Core Knowledge charter school, offers a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, with a math and science focus. The school purchased six acres within the North Park community from McWhinney in 2011 after the Broomfield City Council unanimously approved the project in May. During construction, a temporary facility in Thornton was used until the new building was completed.
The new school at North Park currently offers coursework for grades K-7, enrolling approximately 516 students. Prospect Ridge Academy will add a new grade each year until it reaches full enrollment for grades kindergarten through 12.
“We look forward to growing with the surrounding community until we reach full enrollment in elementary, middle and high school,” said Prospect Ridge Academy Principal April Wilkin. “The foundation we build at this school will have a positive impact on the community now and for generations to come.”
A focal point of the school is the science lab, which brings real, hands-on science research to life, starting with kindergarten students. Technology—including Macintosh computers, iPads, projectors, audio enhancement and document cameras—is integrated into the classrooms to enhance learning. A large gym will accommodate intramural sports, beginning with third-grade students.
“We are very pleased with Prospect Ridge Academy’s new home,” said David Jurcak, Ward 4 Broomfield city councilman. “It is exciting to see completion of the first development in North Park and the beginning of what will become a great addition to Broomfield and communities along the I-25 corridor.” The current building, which occupies six acres, will house Prospect Ridge Academy’s elementary and middle schools (grades K-8).
The school has the option to purchase 10 adjacent acres to accommodate the construction of the high school, which will be completed in time for the 2014-2015 school year. The North Park development is currently zoned and ready for immediate development. As a result, Prospect Ridge Academy was able to move quickly to meet its aggressive six-month construction time frame. McWhinney completed various elements of sidewalk, roadway and utility expansions to Preble Creek Parkway, designed specifically to accommodate the school’s operational criteria.
“McWhinney has long supported public education in Colorado. This is our third charter school partnership,” said Jay Hardy, McWhinney vice president and general manager of North Park. “When we heard Prospect Ridge Academy needed a large space to house its new program, we knew North Park could offer them the convenience and adequate space they were searching for to meet their current and future growth needs.”
North Park has direct connections to downtown Denver, Denver International Airport and Boulder, with access to major Front Range universities and regional attractions. North Park is primed to become a thriving mixed-use community that may include over 6,200 residences, provide direct access to shopping and dining venues, offer natural open spaces and trails, in addition to a walkable urban core business district planned for advances in medicine, renewable energy, applied research, technology and science.
The general contractor on the project was Bouma, Slater-Paull was the architect and Lund Partnership was the civil engineer.