Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Harry Bull joined staff, students and community partners for a groundbreaking ceremony and celebration on May 10 at the site of the future Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC), which is slated to open in fall of 2019.
CCSD administrators, teachers, staff, students and community members reported to the Centennial site that will eventually host the CCIC, which will be a stand-alone college and career preparedness facility accessible to high school students in the Cherry Creek School District. With curriculum rooted in real-world skills and trade certifications ranging from the computer sciences to aviation to health sciences, this facility will offer students a new bridge to connect them to college and viable, successful careers.
"The CCIC is a perfect illustration of the Cherry Creek School District's continued commitment to innovation and excellence," said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Harry Bull. "Thanks to the support of our community, this cutting-edge facility will help prepare our students for the demands of their ever-changing world. Excellence is a moving target, and it's always moving up; this groundbreaking is the first step in a project that will help us all keep up with the evolving demands of education."
Bull added that the new CCIC facility has roots in concepts of excellence for all students.
"This started as an idea," Bull said. "We talk about and embrace whole-heartedly the idea of excellence for ALL children. We are committed to college preparedness; are we making the same commitment to prepare students for careers? This really is about fulfilling our mission for every single student in the Cherry Creek School District."
Under the Career and Technical Education umbrella, the CCIC will expand the district's commitment to preparing students for the academic and professional demands of the 21st century. The student-learning experience will mimic state-of-the-art work environments, with a focus on putting learners in an industry-based culture and climate.
"This facility was designed with industry officials, higher education experts, teachers and students at the same table," said CCIC Principal Mark Morgan. "Just about every department in our school district has had a hand in this."
The facility, which was funded by a voter-approved bond referendum in November 2016, is located on a 42-acre site near East Broncos Parkway and South Chambers Road, near the Denver Broncos training facility. It expected to open for the 2019-2020 school year.
"The Cherry Creek Schools community demonstrated its commitment to innovation in approving the funding for this one-of-a-kind facility," said CCSD Board of Education President Dave Willman. "This facility will enhance student opportunities and meet goals of inclusive excellence. We're excited to see this vision become a reality."
Willman went on to thank CCSD students, two of whom were on the dais during the formal ceremony on May 10. Lindsey Brown, a junior at Cherokee Trail High School, and Natalie Yao, a junior at Grandview High School, spoke about their input finalizing a vision for the new facility.
"This will be the highlight of our high school careers," Brown said.
DLR Group designed the 110,000-square-foot CCIC facility. JHL Constructors was chosen to build the innovative design. The CCIC will feature a wide variety of classroom spaces and learning environments, including advanced labs, industry-specific spaces, sheltered outdoor work areas and social spaces.