FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 21, 2013
Contact: Dr. Donna Newberg-Long, Principal – Mountain Phoenix Community School
Telephone: (303) 728.9100 Mobile: (303) 518.0273
Mountain Phoenix Community School & Himmelman Construction
To Break Ground on New Middle School Complex in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
March 21, 2013 (Denver, CO) – Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at Mountain Phoenix Community School (MPCS) in Wheat Ridge will soon be attending classes in a beautiful new building, thanks to proceeds from a unique bond underwritten with Oppenheimer & Co., one of the country’s leading professionals in investment banking and investment services.
A ground-breaking ceremony celebrating the start of construction will be held Friday April 12th at 11:00am, at the site of the new Middle School Complex—the Southwest corner of the MPCS campus at 4725 Miller Street in Wheat Ridge. The ceremony will include local dignitaries; brief remarks from Dr. Donna Newberg-Long, the school’s Principal for the last 4 years; and Maggie Payne, one of the founders who wrote the original Charter for the school. The ceremony will also include simple statements from MPCS middle school students.MPCS 6th graders will perform a short Renaissance recorder piece after a singing tribute from the grades. A Time Capsule assembled by middle school students will be presented to Barry Himmelman to be buried at the corner of the building.
Himmelman Construction is the contractor for the Middle School Complex, which was designed by Yon Tanner Architecture, P.C., (contracted under Himmelman in a Design-Build arrangement). The building will be constructed in two phases; Phase 1 of the project includes classrooms, music practice rooms, and an office. Phase 2 will increase the number of classrooms and incorporate a gymnasium. MPCS is still working to secure funding for Phase 2. The goal of the aggressive construction schedule is to complete Phase 1 by August 2013, in order to open the building for the 2013-14 school year.
MPCS secured the $6.35 Million Bond on October 18th, working with Oppenheimer & Company out of its Fort Lauderdale office. In addition to funding the first phase of construction of the Middle School Complex, use of proceeds from the bond has also allowed the non-profit charter school to purchase the campus from its previous property owners, and to complete construction of its “cottages” last September. This added 4,000 square feet of space to accommodate the school’s rapid enrollment growth. 465 students currently attending classes on the campus represent an increase of over 120 students compared to last year’s enrollment.
About Mountain Phoenix Community School: Education through IMAGINATION
Mountain Phoenix Community School is a 6-year-old Waldorf-inspired Jefferson County, CO public charter school serving over 450 students ranging from Pre-K through 8th grades, dedicated to preparing students for life-long learning. The curriculum is comprehensive in scope and artistic in nature; its academic components are aligned to state standards and framed within an artistic, creative and imaginative context. The curriculum, rich in background knowledge, supports the development of the imagination and leads to meaningful, integrated projects and learning experiences, active learning, and the development of higher level thinking, as well as the mastery of skills in alignment with Common Core standards.
MPCS began on a small campus in Coal Creek Canyon in 2007. It opened a second site at the former Foothills Academy campus in Wheat Ridge for the 2011-12 school year, in response to growing demand. Students from each of the 10 counties of the Metropolitan Denver Service Area are enrolled at MPCS, traveling from as far away as Longmont, Aurora, Conifer and Littleton to take advantage of the unique blended approach that Mountain Phoenix offers. “Our vision is to create a small school environment with a Waldorf-inspired curriculum rich in content, infused with the arts, standards-based and enhanced with enriching experiences. Strong in academics—science, history, math, and language arts—the artistic curriculum engages students in a depth of learning seldom found today,” said Dr. Newberg-Long. “The students also thrive in classes that become healthy communities. Middle School electives are engaging and include rocketry, dance, American Sign Language, practical arts and many others.”
Parents and students alike are excited to discover a high-quality public charter school in a ‘private-school setting’ that integrates strong standards-based academic main lesson blocks with experiential learning and a rich, imaginative curriculum that includes music, arts, foreign language, P.E. and special outings. This is especially heartening at a time when most public schools have cut similar programs due to budget constraints. MPCS even includes a Colorado-licensed play-based childcare/preschool program aligned with Waldorf principles.
The Waldorf-Inspired educational environment surrounds children with a natural environment, rather than exposing them to the onslaught of mainstream media. This allows them the opportunity to nurture their creative faculties while enjoying an imaginative childhood, rather than rushing toward adulthood too early. Fostering a passion for learning and discovery means that these students are self-motivated and engaged when advanced subjects are introduced. Mountain Phoenix’s arts-infused educational approach is making a difference in the Denver community – inspiring students to be creative thinkers who can solve tomorrow’s problems.
Parents interested in learning about enrollment in Mountain Phoenix may attend one of several open houses that are held from January through May. For information about the school, visit www.mountainphoenix.org or call 303-728-9100.
Margaret Flynn; M2 Creative 303.525.6262
Bonnie Roman 720-317-1075