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Saunders Construction Breaks Ground on High School No. 3 in School District 27J

New $89.5 Million Facility to Be Flagship Project of 2015 Bond Passage And Largest High School in State’s History

School District 27J High School No. 3 Rendering

(Thornton, Colo.) – July 21, 2016Saunders Construction, Inc., a leading general contractor in Colorado, in conjunction with DLR Group an integrated design firm, owner's representative firm, Inline Management, and School District 27J, announced today the official ground breaking of High School No. 3 in Thornton, Colorado, the flagship project of a $248 million bond proposal that passed in November 2015 that will allow the school district to build four new schools. The new $89.5 million build-out of the yet-to-be-named High School No. 3 will make it the largest high school in School District 27J and among the top K-12 facilities in Colorado.

To mark this milestone, a groundbreaking event will take place at the new school’s construction site located at 13380 Yosemite St., Thornton, Colo., 80602 on Thursday, July 21st at 9:30 am. Several community leaders will be joining the celebration, including Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams, School District 27J Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chris Fiedler and 27J Board of Education President Patrick Day. The new school is scheduled for completion in Fall 2018.

“The start of construction on High School No. 3 marks a long-awaited and historic day for School District 27J,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chris Fiedler. “This new school will not only provide a state-of-the-art learning facility for high school students in the rapidly-growing western area of our district but it will also ease over-crowding at our existing high schools and allow students to return to traditional daily schedules. We’re grateful for the support of the 27J community to make this day finally happen.”

DLR Group was commissioned by 27J officials to design the new high school and Saunders Construction will construct the facility. The community, students and staff challenged the team to create a 21st Century high school that features modern technology, flexibility to adapt to future educational models and inspire students in an engaging environment.

“We utilized a canyon concept, allowing the central spine of the building to act as a main street for student circulation and socialization,” said Greg Cromer, AIA of DLR Group. “As a focal point of the school, this main street connects the north public entrance with the south student entrance and invite visitors and community members into the facility. Windows and transparency make this space come to life as the central hub of activity within the school.”

Saunders began construction on the project in mid-June and the process will result in a state-of-the-art 253,000-square-foot facility on 60 acres that can accommodate 1,800 students. It will embrace a Small Learning Community (SLC) model organized around four small learning communities that will give students a personalized learning experience, while maintaining a small school feel. To accommodate steady student enrollment growth, School District 27J has planned High School No. 3 to be built in the northeast quadrant of the District to allow for future growth and the completion of a future middle school.

“High School No. 3 is a product of rigorous design work drawing on best practices from high performing schools around the country that embrace small learning environments and cutting-edge technology,” said Vice President Tom Alford of Saunders Construction,  “This facility will combine innovation with functionality ensuring an environment that will motivate learning and enable success. ”

The Administration and Media Center are located at the main entrance, with the second story Media Center capturing incredible views to the northwest and Colorado’s Front Range. The activity portion of the building supports the larger, more active, functions such as the Auditorium, Gymnasium, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. A large student commons, which promotes social interaction between students and staff, can also be used as pre-function space for after-hours events in the Auditorium and Gymnasium.

About School District 27J

School District 27J educates more than 16,500 students from Brighton, Commerce City, Thornton, and a portion of the city of Aurora and encompasses parts of Adams, Broomfield and Weld counties. Our mission is to equip our students with the tools and knowledge to succeed now and in the future – www.sd27j.org 

About DLR Group

Founded as an architecture and engineering firm, DLR Group celebrates 50 years in 2016. DLR Group serves clients through integrated delivery of planning, architecture, engineering, interiors, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. Core areas of design expertise include Civic, Courts, Detention, Energy Services, Higher Education, Healthcare, Hospitality, K-12 Education, Retail, Sports, and Workplace. Our promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge, and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment. Visit dlrgroup.com and follow us at Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Saunders

Saunders serves the commercial building industry as a full-service general contractor, design-builder and construction manager.  A leader in the Colorado construction industry since its inception in 1972, Saunders’ experience includes a wide range of project types. Saunders is one of the region’s largest general contractors and is the recipient of more than 100 industry awards for its construction excellence, employee achievements and community contributions.  In addition, Saunders is a member of the Citadel Group – an alliance of seven regional construction-related companies with operations in 19 cities. For additional information, please visit www.saundersci.com.

About Inline Management

Inline Management is Colorado’s premiere Owner’s Representative firm specializing in school construction and capital improvement projects. We are committed to deliver quality projects on time and within budget - http://inlinemanagement.com/