Students help break ground on STEM Lab renovation

Updated on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 4:07pm

Two-year renovation project begins in June

Students and staff celebrated the start of construction May 18 on a planned two-year renovation and reconstruction of the STEM Lab school in Northglenn.

STEM Lab primary and middle school students used specially-designed robots to move a ceremonial mound of dirt to mark the start of construction.

“The start of this renovation work is an important day for the students and staff of STEM Lab,” said Adams 12 Five Star Schools Superintendent Chris Gdowski. “When this construction work is completed, STEM Lab students will have a revitalized, state-of-the art learning environment that complements their unique learning style. All of our students deserve safe, warm and dry spaces where they can learn. We are grateful to the community for their support of bond and making these improvements possible.”

In addition to STEM Lab students and staff, the ceremony was attended by representatives from the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education, the city of Northglenn and the Adams 12 Community Action Network (CAN).

The STEM Lab renovation and reconstruction will take place in two phases. Phase One will involve construction and renovation to the school’s east wing and is expected to last through the 2017-18 school year. Phase Two, which will start following the end of the 2017-18 school year, will focus on the demolition and reconstruction of the school’s west wing.

The school will remain open during the construction process with students and staff shifting from one side of the school to the other during the construction phases. All construction work is planned to be completed for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Among the unique design features of the renovated school, each classroom pod will feature flexible learning areas and LEGO®/ Maker Spaces for students to construct and test projects. The center portion of the building will include a new library, science rooms, art rooms, gymnasium, cafeteria and music rooms for shared student use. The building will also feature a new secured main entrance and a centralized administrative area. A “Building as a Teaching Tool” design philosophy will be carried throughout the design and will feature exposed building structural system and cross bracing, exposed mechanical ductwork and a viewing area to allow students to view and study information technology equipment.

The STEM Lab building served as a district middle school from 1971 to 2003 and, after temporarily being leased for other educational purposes, was repurposed by the district in 2010 as a STEM-focused magnet school.

3890 Design is responsible for the design of the new school and both construction phases will be handled by general contractor, Adolfson & Peterson Construction.

When the school's renovation is completed it will allow enrollment to grow from 475 current students to an anticipated 675 students. STEM Lab is a magnet school with admissions managed through the district's Schools of Choice Program. Admission priority is given to in-district students and determined by a lottery system based on the district's five Board of Education Director Districts.