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New site announced for first Aurora DSST charter school

Sixth-graders at DSST: College View answer questions during class in 2014.
Sixth-graders at DSST: College View answer questions during class in 2014.
Andy Cross, Denver Post

The first DSST charter school that will open in Aurora will be located on the Fitzsimons Innovation Campus, district officials announced Thursday.

Thursday’s site announcement and a presentation prepared for the school board do not include any new details about how the new building will be paid for. When Aurora Public Schools invited DSST to Aurora, Superintendent Rico Munn offered to use money from the recently approved bond to pay for half of the building. DSST officials said they would help fundraise, but they did not commit to paying for the other half.

According to the charter’s approved contract, both the district and the charter network must identify the money for a building by March 30.

“Fundraising efforts are underway in partnership with DSST,” said Corey Christiansen, district spokesman.

Originally, the district was pursuing a site adjacent to Fletcher Community School. The purchase of the site, however, has been tied up in legal proceedings. In a memo the superintendent prepared to present to the board on Tuesday, Munn says the district will stop the proceedings to acquire the land next to Fletcher unless the board objects.

The new location would cost less and would present opportunities for the charter school.

“Thanks to its proximity to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center, students will also have increased access to internships, externships, and job-shadowing opportunities,” the district’s announcement states.

The site change also places the charter school in the northwest area of Aurora that has the highest concentrations of poverty.

The Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority has already approved the district’s proposal.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2019.

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