Growth in the 27J School District means more schools – two, as a matter of fact. 

One is in the Willow Bend section of Thornton, near East 146th Avenue and Holly Street. 

27J spokesperson Janelle Asmus said originally, the school was going to be a charter school. 

“But the charter that had been working on that was not able to make it happen,” she said. “So, the district is building a new school in that community, and it will be a pre-K-8 school and it is slated to open in the fall of 2023.” 

The new principal is Sheri Collier, the interim principal at Brantner Elementary School. Asmus said the administration is considering the school’s organization will look like as a proposed magnet school. 

“As a magnet school, that school would not have traditional boundaries like neighborhood schools,” she said. “It would draw from throughout the district. Sometimes magnet schools have an academic or program focus that is of particular interest to some people.” 

The new school in the Reunion section of Commerce City is Southlawn Elementary School, 10075 Walden St. Asmus said construction is in two phases. 

“The first phase is what we refer to as a ‘bonus’ project, which means we saved enough money through our fiscal management process that we are able to build half a new school without raising any taxes and we’re giving our community more than we promised,” Asmus said. “Phase II of that school is being built. It’ll open in the fall, and it’s in the Southlawn neighborhood of Reunion.” 

Southlawn is a preK-5 school and be a traditional neighborhood school. The principal is Candice Reece, the former principal at Thimmig Elementary school. The hiring process is underway. The community decided on the school mascot (Bumble Bees) and its colors are blue and green.