Turning an office building into a thriving charter school

Denver Public Schools, Ruben Valdez Strive Prep PK-8 Phased Renovation, Denver, CO

The Denver Public School District needed a location for its new charter school, STRIVE Preparatory, and fast. An office building (with basement) previously occupied by a telecommunications client – ­while unconventional—provided the perfect opportunity to create a school ideal for 21st-century learning.

To transition the facility from a corporate to educational environment, the project required a full gut renovation. New windows were added to allow natural light, floors were re-partitioned to provide spacious hallways, and breakout spaces were formed for more collaborative learning. The basement was converted into a gymnasium, kitchen and cafeteria, and outdoor learning areas, including a playground, were added to expand learning opportunities. What was once a sterile building is now the home of a vibrant, thriving educational community where students can create, engage and learn.