School overhaul shifts to phase two

Construction work set to overshadow demolition

Tom Munds
A crew funnels concrete into the foundation form as phase two construction gets underway at the Englewood High School site. Phase two will construct the building for the high school and other facilities that will be part of the seventh- through 12th-grade campus scheduled to open in January 2015.

As demolition wraps up at the Englewood High School project, the focus shifts to phase two construction of a seventh- through 12th-grade campus.

“The demolition of the high school building is about completed,” said Donovan Nolan, project manager. “Demolition crews are wrapping up their work as they clean up the site and truck the remainder of the debris off the site. At the same time, work on construction of the new building is already started.”

He said the demolition took a little longer than expected, because as crews began tearing down the structures they discovered construction in the 1950s used a lot more concrete.

“They poured thicker slabs than today and it takes longer to break up those thick slabs,” Nolan said. “The result was the demolition recovered less steel than forecast but were able to recycle more concrete than expected.”

With the old building removed, the work now shifts to construction. The massive excavators used for demolition soon will move off the site and be replaced by earthmoving equipment preparing the ground and trucks bringing in concrete for the foundations.

Nolan said crews will spend about a month putting in the foundation along the east side of the site near the field house.

“We have about 100 people working on site,” he said. “The most visible work right now is pouring the foundation. Within about a month, crews should begin putting the steel for the new building in place, starting on the east and moving west.”

At the same time, the construction crews will be doing site preparation that includes bringing in tons of fill dirt.

“A lot of work is necessary to prepare the site for the new building,” Nolan said. “We will be bringing in about 26,000 cubic yards of fill dirt to bring the area around what will be the main building entrance up to street level.”

The campus transformation will cost about $40 million, which is available because voters gave the district approval to sell bonds. Plans called for demolition of all the Englewood High School buildings except the auditorium and field house, which will undergo major renovation.

The project goal was to replace the existing school with a new, state-of-the-art facility for seventh- through 12th-graders. Also, the project included major renovation of Englewood Middle School, so when middle-school students move to the new campus, Colorado's Finest Alternative High School will move into the current middle-school facility.

Work began in 2012 on phase one, which included demolition of the pool, the Lowell Building and the shops to create the space for construction of what will become the middle-school facility on the north end of the site. The construction also will include most of the common areas like science labs, which, when the project is completed, will be used by both high-school and middle-school students. Phase one involved construction of about 65 percent of the project and was completed in November 2013.

The high-school students, teachers and classrooms were moved into the newly constructed middle-school building over the 2013 Thanksgiving break.

Shifting the high school classes to the new building is necessary so the remaining high school buildings can be demolished. That makes way for construction of the final 35 percent of the project. The demolition of the main high school building and completion of the remainder of the project got underway in January and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.