Ceremony kicks off construction on Arapahoe Ridge expansion

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Twelve classroom addition on way for 2018-19 school year

Dec. 18 was a day nearly 20 years in the making as Arapahoe Ridge Elementary students and staff celebrated the start of construction on an expansion project that will mean the end of mobile classrooms used since the school opened in 1998.

Construction is under way on an 18,000 square-foot addition to the Westminster elementary school. When it is finished for the start of the 2018-19 school year, Arapahoe Ridge will have space for its fourth-grade students who currently call mobile classrooms home for most of the day. The school will also add a preschool program, which is expected to include tuition-based slots.

The groundbreaking ceremony was a chance for students, staff and community members to look forward to what the expansion will mean for the school. Current Arapahoe Ridge fourth-grader students reflected on what they won't miss about the mobile classrooms including poor WiFi access and long walks to the restroom in cold weather. For others, including Five Star Schools Superintendent Chris Gdowski, Board of Education President Kathy Plomer, City of Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison and Adams 12 Community Action Network member Jeff Jasica, it was a chance to reflect on the hard work of the 2016 bond campaign that made the project possible and the important partnerships needed to provide quality education for students.

When the speeches were done, students as well as district and community leaders put on hard hats and took turns pushing gold-painted shovels into a ceremonial mound of dirt as audience members cheered.

The expansion project was designed by architectural firm RB+B Architects and will be built by JHL Constructors.

The 2016 Bond Program is reaching all schools and facilities in the Five Star District, investing $350 million in the construction of new schools and badly-needed improvements to existing district schools and facilities.

In addition to the expansion, Arapahoe Ridge will receive improvements to the existing building during Summer 2018 including new carpet for the school.

Follow www.adams12.org/projects/arapahoe-ridge-elementary-school for updates on the Arapahoe Ridge expansion project.