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Potential offer to reopen a Denver elementary school closed more than 15 years ago sparks discussion

Posted at 7:13 AM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 19:15:08-05

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DENVER— Rosedale Elementary School was closed 15 years ago, but a recent offer from a potential buyer opened a discussion about the future of the school.

At the time this article was published, Denver Public Schools didn’t release the name of the potential buyer interested in buying the building, but in a release, officials said they intended to reopen the building at 2330 South Sherman Street as a private school.

It was revealed on Friday, Jan. 17, that the Archdiocese of Denver, along with private donors, expressed interest in purchasing the building for use as a future Catholic High School in Denver.

Denver Public Schools Deputy Superintendent of Operations Mark Ferrandino confirmed that information in a separate statement sent on the same day.

The district plans to hold a series of meetings in February to discuss with community members potential options. They will decide if the school should reopen as a public school, stay closed, or be leased or sold.

In a statement sent to Denver7 on Jan. 17, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese said they look forward to, "participating in the public conversations and and sharing our vision."

The board decided to close Rosedale Elementary School back in 2005 to save money. A few years ago, the district floated the idea of turning the building into teacher housing, according to the Denver Post, but changed its mind.

Andy Perry has lived across the street from the abandoned school for six years. He says it can attract the wrong people. He says he doesn’t mind if the school opens as a private or public school, but he wants the building to maintain its historical look and be put to good use.

“Now that the neighborhood starting to gentrify a lot more, there are starting to be a lot more new families moving in with kids, so it might be beneficial. But you never know,” Perry said.

Perry raised concerns about the expense of reopening a school that’s been abandoned for more than a decade.

“If they get the right person, I guess, to invest, to make it something nice, then hopefully it will pay off,” Perry said.

DPS is collaborating with Rosedale Harvard Gulch Neighborhood Organization and University of Colorado-Denver students for community engagement. They are encouraging neighbors and schools to attend the meetings once dates are released.

Editor's note: This article has been updated on Jan. 17 to reflect the name of the potential buyer of the building, and information from a statement they sent to Denver7 has been added to this story.