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Warren Tech South to open in Fall 2021 at Dakota Ridge HS

Jeffco Schools plans to open the new Warren Tech South campus in Fall 2021 on Dakota Ridge High School property in south Jeffco.

Warren Tech South will be Jeffco’s third Warren Tech campus. It will join the north and central campuses that currently provide more than 30 career and technical education programs to Jeffco students.

Plans and a first look at the Warren Tech design were unveiled at the Jan. 30 Jeffco School Board meeting.

Plans call for 20,000 square foot building, additional parking

The new Warren Tech South will be housed in a one-story building with 20,000 square feet of learning space, said Sam Miller, Jeffco Schools Senior Project Manager.

Miller said the school will accommodate 150 students in both morning and afternoon sessions, with an average class size of 25 students.

Money for the project was approved by voters in November 2018 through a $567 million bond package. Approximately $10 million of that package will be used to construct the Warren Tech South campus.

Current Dakota Ridge parking lots will be expanded

Community members had been concerned that the Warren Tech South campus would create parking shortages for Dakota Ridge students. Because the new Warren Tech campus would be located south of the high school on property currently occupied by a student parking lot and open space that borders Coal Mine Avenue to the south.

The parking issues will be addressed by expanding another existing parking lot at the high school, Miller said at Dakota Ridge’s November School Accountability Meeting.

Dakota Ridge Principal Jim Jelinek also clarified that the lot currently reserved for senior students will be expanded west toward the staff parking lot.

Referencing the Warren Tech South Site Plan, there will not be a separate entry off of Coal Mine Avenue to gain access to Warren Tech South. To accommodate the increased traffic load, the main entryway to the Dakota Ridge campus will be widened. In addition, a right turn lane will be provided to expedite traffic leaving campus, according to Miller and Jelinek.

Warren Tech South
Proposed plans for the new Warren Tech South campus were released at the Jan. 30 Jeffco School Board meeting. To see more designs for the new school, visit$file/WarrenTechSouth.pdf.

Warren Tech South programming to include video production, aviation

Warren Tech South plans to offer programming in the following areas:

  • Audio Production
  • TV and Video Production
  • Stagecraft (light, sound, and event production)
  • Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine
  • Aviation
  • Arts and Design
  • Hospitality
  • Health Sciences

Programming for the south campus was chosen based on the programs most well-received by Jeffco students, explained Matt Flores, chief academic officer, at the Jan. 30 board meeting. Flores said that the district surveyed students and also looked at current program waitlists as part of the decision.

Community industry partners were also an important part of the equation, Flores said. They work with industries that are interested in giving students an industry perspective. These partnerships also ensure Jeffco strikes a balance between student demand and careers in the community.

Omni Hotels, Marriott Hotels, and United Airlines are three of the companies they worked with during this process, Flores added.

Programming decisions are also guided by regulations regarding career technical education funding, said Superintendent Jason Glass.

The building’s design takes the programming into account. It will have a theater space with a seating capacity for 200, and equipment for video production that includes a green screen.

In addition, pilot training and simulators will be included for the aviation program.

Programming is not finalized, Miller said, and Jeffco Schools hopes to expand offerings in the future.

During the 2018-19 school year, Warren Tech students earned nearly 13,000 free college credits from Red Rocks Community College, and more than 1,062 industry certifications.

Jeffco anticipates putting the project out to bid in August, said Tim Reed, Jeffco Facilities executive director.

“We’ll make it happen as quickly as we can,” Reed said.

Tina Gurdikian

Tina Gurdikian has been a Jeffco resident since 2008, and is the parent of two Jeffco Schools students. She has a BS in Environmental Analysis and Planning with a minor in Biology. In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys fostering dogs, scuba diving, backpacking, hiking, biking, and kayaking with her family. Please visit our "About Us" page to learn more about Tina and our other writers.

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