New High School in Thornton Tops Off Construction

Thornton High School

Thornton, CO – Saunders Construction, Inc., a leading general contractor in Colorado, in conjunction with DLR Group an integrated design firm, Inline Management a construction owner’s representative, and School District 27J, announced today the official steel topping off of Riverdale Ridge High School — formerly known as High School No. 3 — in Thornton, Colorado. The high school will be the flagship project of a $248 million bond proposal that passed in November 2015 and will allow the school district to build four new schools. The new $89.5 million build-out of Riverdale Ridge High School is expected to be completed in summer 2018 and open in August to students.

The topping off ceremony signifies the completion of a major construction milestone by placing the highest piece of structural steel on the project. A tree sapling resting atop the final steel beam pays homage to a long-held construction tradition.

“I have been so impressed with the efforts of our 27J construction and facilities team as well as the pride Saunders Construction has for the project,” said Riverdale Ridge High School Principal Terry Elliott. “With a name and a boundary area completed, I am excited to begin moving to discussions on how we will create great learning spaces under the new roof.”

Saunders Construction began construction on the project almost a year ago and the process will result in a state-of-the-art 253,000-square-foot facility on 60 acres that can accommodate 1,800 students. It will embrace a Small Learning Community (SLC) model organized around four small learning communities that will give students a personalized learning experience, while maintaining a small school feel. To accommodate steady student enrollment growth, School District 27J has planned the school to be built in the northeast quadrant of the district to allow for future growth and the completion of a future middle school.

School District 27J educates more than 17,000 students from Brighton, Commerce City, Thornton, and a portion of the city of Aurora and encompasses parts of Adams, Broomfield and Weld counties. Our mission is to equip our students with the tools and knowledge to succeed now and in the future.


Rendering courtesy of DLR Group


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