Published September 2, 2016
Board members met briefly following the September 1 Focus on Achievement Session to vote on the final transaction in Operation Unite, the district’s 2012 plan to consolidate and update facilities. The board approved the sale of the Emily Griffith Opportunity School at 1250 Welton St.
This sale is the final piece of a larger plan that has resulted in facility upgrades for about 9,000 students, consolidation of administrative functions, yearly operating savings of more than $1 million for DPS and Emily Griffith, and a net gain for taxpayers of about $8 million.
Emily Griffith started her school “for all who wish to learn” 100 years ago. She grew her school on Welton Street, adding buildings through the years. But several years ago, as enrollment continued to increase and as learning spaces became more antiquated, it became clear that the facility on Welton – though historically important – was not up to the task of serving Emily Griffith students for the next 100 years.
DPS partnered with Historic Denver, among others, to obtain local landmark designation for the historic school and to require the buyer preserve the most important historic aspects of the site. Meanwhile, Emily Griffith’s legacy continues to thrive today, with some 5,000 students in two state-of-the-art campuses – Emily Griffith High School and Emily Griffith Technical College – a couple of miles from the original site.