Students and families at Brown International Academy file in to the playground in relative single file these days, squeezing several hundred people around a construction fence each morning and afternoon. But the mini-Vikings say it will all be worthwhile to finally have a new, functional athletic field later this year.
Denver Public Schools (DPS) is investing $225,000 to construct a 17,500 square foot synthetic turf field at the elementary school at West 26th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard after multiple failed attempts to re-seed the natural grass field.
Parents said the old field was basically all dirt, which turned to mud every time it rained, snowed or was watered, complicated by drainage issues. Plastic mesh underlay meant to help keep sod in place was sticking out of the dirt. At least two attempts to re-seed the field in recent years had the field closed to student use for months at a time during the school year. But none of the efforts worked.
The Parent-Teacher Association spent several years encouraging the district to consider artificial turf as an alternative, even drafting grants to help pay for it. In the end, the PTA didn’t have to contribute to the cost, but got its wish for the new field.
The week of Sept. 9, excavation of the old field began, again closing off the field while skid steers tore out all the old, dead grass and prepared the field for the new turf installation. The next step is to install curb and the field is expected to be complete Sept. 30.
The new artificial turf system includes pad, turf and infill that have been extensively reviewed by the DPS Planning, Design and Construction team, as well as the Environmental and Maintenance departments to ensure the safest system available.
Brown isn’t the only Northwest Denver school slated for major improvements this school year. The district is also investing in the following projects this school year:
- $6.5 million in an additional at the Del Pueblo campus where the Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) is located, 750 Galapago St.
- Over $1 million in HVAC mechanical improvements at Skinner Middle School, 3435 W. 40th Ave.
- $960,000 on a new roof and science classrooms at Lake Middle School, 1820 Lowell Blvd.
- $389,000 for stadium lighting at North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd.
Sabrina D’Agosta is a parent at Brown International Academy and Skinner Middle School, and a former Brown PTA president. The Denver North Star covers schools throughout North Denver, so please share your story ideas in the comments!