Aurora school districts building out 2016 bond issue promises

APS is set to finish additions to Vista PEAK High School and construction of a new building to replace the current home of Mrachek Middle School by the end of summer 2018 in time for the new school year, said Amy Spatz, director of construction management and support for APS.

Construction of the new Mrachek Middle School, which is currently underway, is set to be finished by the summer of 2018, and to be open for the 2018-2019 school year. Several Aurora Public Schools are going through renovations and rebuilds throughout the

Construction of the new Mrachek Middle School, which is currently underway, is set to be finished by the summer of 2018, and to be open for the 2018-2019 school year. Several Aurora Public Schools are going through renovations and rebuilds throughout the district. Photo by Philip B. Poston/Aurora Sentinel

Construction of the new Mrachek Middle School, which is currently underway, is set to be finished by the summer of 2018, and to be open for the 2018-2019 school year. Several Aurora Public Schools are going through renovations and rebuilds throughout the

Construction of the new Mrachek Middle School, which is currently underway, is set to be finished by the summer of 2018, and to be open for the 2018-2019 school year. Several Aurora Public Schools are going through renovations and rebuilds throughout the district. Photo by Philip B. Poston/Aurora Sentinel

Construction of the new Mrachek Middle School, which is currently underway, is set to be finished by the summer of 2018, and to be open for the 2018-2019 school year. Several Aurora Public Schools are going through renovations and rebuilds throughout the

Construction of the new Mrachek Middle School, which is currently underway, is set to be finished by the summer of 2018, and to be open for the 2018-2019 school year. Several Aurora Public Schools are going through renovations and rebuilds throughout the district. Photo by Philip B. Poston/Aurora Sentinel

AURORA | Voters in Cherry Creek School District and Aurora Public Schools boundaries approved bond issues for both districts to help maintain current facilities, build new schools and help provide upgrades to school security.

Since the 2016 measures passed, both districts have been at work to reach goals spelled out in the bond measures. And so far, both districts said they are on schedule for the first round of projects.

APS is set to finish additions to Vista PEAK High School and construction of a new building to replace the current home of Mrachek Middle School by the end of summer 2018 in time for the new school year, said Amy Spatz, director of construction management and support for APS.

Along with those construction projects, Spatz said APS was making significant progress on security upgrades for the entrances of elementary and middle schools throughout the district. The projects will make sure each school has an entrance that forces traffic entering into the buildings to the school’s office.

“One of our big projects in the eyes of the community was making sure all of the front entries to our schools were safe. We’re going to take two summers to get that work done at 21 different sides,” Spatz said. “Some of them are really simple and just putting in a  second set of doors others have to build additions on the buildings to redirect people into the office.”

Spatz said for high schools in the district, the decision was made to not create the pathway being put in place for middle and high schools because of the number of students entering and exiting throughout the day. Instead, each high school will have a manned desk right at the entrance to direct visitors to the office.

Cherry Creek has made significant progress on its $250 million bond program including a new middle and elementary school that should be finished by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, said Abbe Smith, spokeswoman for CCSD. The new middle school, Middle School 11, will be located at East Belleview Avenue and South Harvest Road in Aurora, and Elementary School 44, will be located near Smoky Hill Parkway and South Titus Way.

“Next month at the board of education meeting, the board will be voting on a name for each of those schools so that should be exciting,” Smith said. “All the students and school community voted on which names to put forth for the board to choose from.”

Along with the two new schools, Smith said the district has completed smaller projects like building new roofs for some schools and improving playgrounds and athletic facilities. Another major item on the bond project was the Career and Innovation Academy, which is on track to have a ground breaking at the start of next year and to open up in time for the 2019-2020 school year.

Smith said along with the completion of its bond sale, CCSD saw its credit rating improve. The district’s credit rating from Standard & Poor’s went from AA to AA+ in October.

“The credit rating is really a testament to the financial strength of the district,” Smith said.