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Media Release: DPS Celebrates Groundbreaking at Denver School of the Arts

The Denver School of the Arts breaks ground on renovations at the Academic Center- 1 of 4 buildings that were recently purchased by DPS.

Denver Public Schools will celebrate the beginning of renovations on one of their newly acquired buildings at the former Johnson & Wales campus – with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Academic Center. The Academic Center is just 1 of 4 buildings purchased by DPS. The Academic Center is the first building to receive renovations. 

“I’m very excited about this project and the possibility that it brings to any students who have a love of and are passionate about the arts.” says Principal of Denver School of the Arts, Dr. Anthony McWright.

The project consists of the following: life safety upgrades to change the building occupancy to an educational classification, a gender inclusive restroom, infill of lecture hall to create performance arts spaces, nursing suite, night entry and auditorium access, and conversion of room 01A to an art gallery.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place on March 15 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 7039 E 18th Ave, Denver, CO 80220. Parking is available in the Aspen Hall and Chapel Event Center Lot. 

Speakers will include DPS Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero, DSA Principal Dr. Anthony McWright, and Director Michelle Quattlebaum of the Board of Education. In addition to DPS leadership, remarks will be made by the general contractors. C.J. Harvey,  Vice President of Operations at Haselden Construction will speak first, followed by the architects involved in the project: Tyler Michelli on behalf of Alan Ford architects, and Chris Wineman, on behalf of their subcontractor, Semple Brown. 

The renovations are focused on expanding the DSA campus, with the long term goal of offering more robust arts programming to low-income students, students of color, and students with special needs. The renovations were made possible by bond premium money generated from the 2020 bond.

“As a former administrator of DSA and founding team member establishing Denver School of the Arts as a school of record, I am honored to have collaborated with Dr. Anthony McWright  and others to forward the mission and strategic plan of the school.” 

says Former DSA administrator Allen Balczarek, he continues;

“The vision of expansion and inclusiveness for all students including those with special needs will become a sustaining reality with the support systems necessary for students regardless of their previous background in the arts or academics.”

For more information and to follow DPS efforts in 2020 bond construction, follow us on social media and visit our website at


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