The Denver Faculties Board approves the acquisition of a part of the Johnson & Wales campus – The Denver Publish – for $ 30 million
Thomas Gounley, BusinessDen
The buildings on campus that the Denver Public Schools would buy are clockwise from top left Aspen Hall, Whatley Chapel, Wildcat Center, and Academic Center.
Denver Public Schools will acquire a portion of Johnson & Wales University after a unanimous vote by the school board on Thursday.
Four buildings on the university campus due to close will be an extension of the school system’s Denver School of the Arts, a magnet school for 6th-12th grade students across the street.
The vote to approve the deal was preceded by very little discussion on the board, but Vice President Jennifer Bacon spoke out in favor of it.
“This is an opportunity for our community to not just really think about their ability to purchase real estate and not just expand the potential seating for (Denver School of the Arts), but hopefully have us talking throughout District is pushing about incorporating art comprehensively in our schools, ”said Bacon. “For all of our communities seeing this, thank you very much for your feedback and thoughts. We look forward to adding additional seats to our community for access to the arts. “
BusinessDen previously reported that four buildings on campus – the Wildcat Center, Academic Center, Aspen Hall, and Whatley Chapel – were earmarked for the School of the Arts expansion.
Magnet School currently has 1,100 students and has exceeded its intended capacity of 900 students since 2003. Around 500 applicants are turned away every year. According to DPS, the takeover could allow the school to accept between 600 and 800 students.
Johnson & Wales paid approximately $ 30.5 million for the campus in two transactions in 1999 and 2003, records show. The Rhode Island-based university announced in 2020 that it would close campuses in Denver and others across the country this summer.
The Urban Land Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization based in Denver, has signed a contract to purchase the 13-acre, 25-acre campus and is the company that will sell the four buildings to DPS.
The Denver Housing Authority, meanwhile, will acquire a separate portion of ULC’s campus for $ 9.5 million.
A ULC spokeswoman declined to answer questions emailed on Friday, referring to a confidentiality agreement with Johnson & Wales.