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Sandoval campus auditorium, student health clinic on final list for nearly $1 billion bond

(Cover photo: Northeast corner of Building One on Sandoval Campus where a new auditorium and student health clinic would be built. Photo: Brian Weber)

A full-size performing arts auditorium and student health clinic for the Paul Sandoval campus made the list of final projects recommended for a nearly $1 billion bond that is likely for the November ballot.

The auditorium would be added to Building One (where the cafeteria is located) in the northeast corner of the campus (see cover photo). The health facility is planned for the south side of the auditorium addition.

The auditorium and clinic are among dozens of projects that three committees consisting of Denver Public Schools staff and community members put forth June 13 after reviewing options from January to May. Categories and costs of the proposed bond issue are below. Click here for information on the bond committee process and a complete list of projects. 

“We are excited to be able to expand the Sandoval campus,’’ Simone Ross, co-chair of the committee that recommended the auditorium and clinic, said at a DPS board meeting where the recommendations were outlined.

The DPS board will vote in August whether to go for the proposed $975 million bond. The DPS administration strongly supports the bond and no board members have expressed any public misgivings meaning voters will almost certainly see it on the Nov. 5 ballot. District finance officials say that the bond will not raise property taxes. The district’s last bond election was in 2020 when voters approved a $795 million package.

The new auditorium, estimated to cost $18 million, would include a control booth, lighting and sound equipment, ticket and concession area, stage, dressing rooms, a lobby and vestibule and other related spaces, according to DPS facility planners. It is expected to have 500 seats.

Northfield High School, which shares the campus with DSST: Conservatory Green High School, has wanted a full-size auditorium since the school opened in 2015. The two schools, with a total enrollment of 2,600, use the cafeteria as their primary performing space, which is considered inadequate for proper arts performances and other activities.

The acoustics are poor, and space for rehearsals, storage, costuming, construction and other stage crafting is inadequate, says Hanan Al-Naqeeb, theater director at Northfield. Dressing rooms are needed, and more space could possibly accommodate a “black box’’ theater and other stage configurations. The lighting, sound and other technical equipment is also not up to par.

An auditorium can also be used for classes, meetings, evening/weekend orchestra concerts and choir and lectures. In addition, the current seating area is on a flat, concrete floor that hinders proper sightlines to the stage. A sloped floor in a new building would remedy that.

Northfield is the only comprehensive HS without a student health clinic. The new one will be similar to those in other schools, and provide a range of physical and mental health services and vaccinations, according to DPS.

The clinic is estimated to cost $5 million with approximately 2,500 square feet, like in other schools.

Categories and costs of proposed 2024 bond

Enabling Conditions 

Capacity, Maintenance, Quality Learning Environments

$525 Million

  • New Buildings
  • Critical Maintenance, ADA Code, & Facility Life Safety
  • Improved Learning Environments

Pursuit of Passion

Arts, Athletics, Innovation

$127 Million

  • Stage Renovations & Production
  • Regional Facilities, 21st Century Updates & Athletic Upgrades
  • CTE FNE & SW Centers & STEAM Mobile Buses

Safe & Welcoming Environments

Safety, Technology, Air Conditioning

$323 Million

  • Vestibules, Door Access, Safety Systems
  • Classroom Tech., Network Infrastructure & Systems
  • Air Conditioning district-wide

(The Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities gives grants to Central Park schools.)

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