Inspire Elementary, Denver Public Schools
Designed to inspire wonder in all of its occupants, this elementary school project acts as the heart of the Stapleton community both during and after school hours. Humphries Poli Architects worked with the community’s vision to create an environment children would be excited to experience, and a space that would facilitate outdoor community events. The new $28,000,000, 90,000sf Early Learning education through 5th grade elementary school opened in the fall for the 2018 school year.
Student’s excitement is meant to be sparked from the moment they arrive at school. Busses travel past a dynamic building elevation which goes through a wondrous color transformation when viewed from various angles. Unique geometries and textures were used throughout the buildings massing to further stimulate student’s creativity and curiosity.
Once inside the school, children are given ample volume to expand their thoughts with multiple double height spaces. These areas provide a connection to nature with expansive window walls containing views of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (RMANWR) as well as the Rocky Mountains. In addition to being flexible for ever-changing needs, spaces throughout the building have been uniquely designed to foster continuous learning. Exposed structural elements and MEP systems in intentional locations will allow the building itself to become a learning experience for students. Five shared learning spaces were purposefully interjected within the common areas to provide collaborative teaching environments.
Located across the street from the RMANWR, the school has created a landmark gateway to welcome the community and further integrate with the neighborhood. The building’s footprint creates semi-protected outdoor spaces for year round student and community use. The west courtyard has natural elements which act as play areas as well as seating for the outdoor stage and movies in the park. Plaza space has been provided for outdoor learning possibilities and community events. A community garden was provided to further connect the school with its neighborhood. Denver Public Schools commitment to the natural environment is culminated in their rooftop solar array which will provide approximately half of the buildings power.
The General Contractor was the GH Phipps Company.