Swinerton In the News

Swinerton Builders Colorado: August 25, 2014

Swinerton Goes Back to School

This article highlights the completed renovation of Byers School.

It is back to school for Swinerton Builders. Swinerton Builders recently completed a $19 million renovation of the historic Byers Middle School in Denver.

Separately, it was recently awarded about a $17 million design-build contract for East Quad Campus, a new high school that eventually will be able to accommodate 1,000 students on a 13.5-acre site west of Denver International Airport.

The 93-year-old Byers building, vacant since 2004, is being converted into a Denver School of Science and Technology Middle School, a charter school with a college preparatory focus DSST has an emphasis on developing core liberal arts skills in reading, writing, mathematics and science.

The grand opening celebration will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the school at 150 Pearl St.

The building was constructed in 1921 on land owned by businessman and Rocky Mountain News founder William Byers. The Rocky Mountain News, which had been the oldest, ongoing business in Colorado, closed in February 2009.

In 2011, the Denver School of Science and Technology approached the Denver Public Schools about opening a new  middle school in the building.

Swinerton began interior demolition work in July 2013.

Eidos Architects designed the new DSST building.

Work on the historic exteriors included repairs to the masonry, glazed tiles and clay tile roofing, new windows, a parking lot and landscaping. Now the building houses modern classrooms and laboratories, a new gymnasium, cafeteria, lobby, atrium and study spaces, according to John Spight, a Swinerton project manager.

The building is extremely energy-efficient.

Geothermal heat pumps that use the natural properties of the earth provide sustainable technology to heat and cool the building through the use of 48 wells 500 feet below the school’s parking lot.

The new East Quad campus roughly bordered by Tower Road, Telluride Street, East 49th Avenue and Green Valley Ranch Boulevard, also will be energy-efficient.

DPS is not requiring it to be LEED certified, “however, every effort should be made to meet LEED certification requirements,” the school district said in its documents available to companies competing for the job.

“Sustainability is a key consideration in every aspect of design and construction,” according to DPS documents. “Everyone in our community is a steward of the environment and has a responsibility to provide a high level of sustainable performance in our buildings,” according to DPS.

“By conserving natural resources we will minimize our impact on the environment and reduce operating costs,” it said.

As with the Byers school building, the East Quad Campus is to include geothermal, “if applicable,” according to DPS.

The first phase of the new campus to be completed in time for the fall 2015 school year, needs to accomodate 500 students and a master plan is required for a second high school “learning community” for another 500 students, for a total of 1,000,
according to DPS.

Funding is being provided by a DPS bond program that allocates $78 million to expand/renovate existing schools and another $119 million to build new facilities.

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