Ben Franklin Academy (BFA), a pre-K-8 public, charter school in Highlands Ranch, recently completed an almost $5 million,18,500 square-foot building enhancement focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). “BFA is not adding new students, rather the enhancement was designed to elevate our STEAM curriculum,” said Bob Barber, principal. “I’m excited that all BFA students will be able to take advantage of the new space.”
The new STEAM enhancement contains a full-sized gym for PE and middle school sports; two state-of-the-art technology labs, including one with a dedicated robotics space; new science rooms; a new, larger art room with tons of natural light and a kiln; and a bigger music room with plenty of space for creative expression and instruments. The addition also features a large performance area, complete with sound system and performance-quality lighting. An additional paved lot with more than 170 spaces also was part of the project. The building enhancement opened in January, with comments such as, “Wow! This is like Narnia!” from BFA students.
“This is the third and final phase of BFA’s long-term strategic growth plan,” said Kent Barwind, treasurer of BFA's Board of Directors. “Thanks to a conservative financial plan, we were able to secure funding for the project at a reasonable interest rate while maintaining a substantial savings account and reducing our annual expenses.
“We are proud to offer a well-rounded, public education to our students,” said Diana Simpson, assistant principal. “As America’s founding father and inspiration for BFA’s name, Benjamin Franklin said, ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’”