DPS, CDOT Dedicate East Wing of Swansea Elementary School to Community Leader

Nov. 1, 2017 -

On Oct. 31, 2017, Denver Public Schools and CDOT's Central 70 project team dedicated the new east wing of Swansea Elementary to community leader Lorraine Granado.

As the founding director of the Cross Community Coalition—as well as other family and youth serving organizations—Granado has spent her life working with the families who live in the Swansea, Elyria and Globeville neighborhoods. As a lifelong resident of the Swansea community and a dedicated mother of three boys, she continues to use compassion, kindness and peaceful resolution skills to bring together diverse groups of people who make lifelong positive changes in our community.

Although Granado could not be present at this dedication, a plaque to be mounted near the new main entrance of Swansea School will serve as a symbol of gratitude for Lorraine's long-standing commitment to treating all people with love.

The new wing is part of a series of renovations to Swansea Elementary School that were jointly funded by CDOT and the DPS bond program. Other improvements include: a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, new doors and windows, skylights, technology enhancements and a removal of the former open classroom design.

The CDOT funded improvements fulfill a commitment of the Central 70 project, and are designed to insulate the school during project construction and support the school's role as a focal point of the Elyria-Swansea community.

"Swansea Elementary School was the neighborhood's top priority in our community outreach," said Tony DeVito, Central 70 project director. "These renovations honor the neighborhood's strong desire to allow the school to remain in its current location and continue serving the community, while protecting students, teachers and staff from dust and noise during construction. It's one of many commitments to the community we are implementing as we prepare for construction on the Central 70 project."

"If it wasn't for this partnership we wouldn't be standing here, dedicating this new east wing of our school, to such an influential leader within our community, " said Gilberto Munoz, Swansea Elementary School principal. "Swansea Elementary has been an important landmark to the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood where students, staff and parents feel at home."

The next phase of work will focus on changes to the school playground and parking. The current playground will be relocated to the northeast corner of the property, Elizabeth Street will be vacated and converted to school property, and a new early childhood education playground will be built. The final set of improvements will occur once the cover over I-70 is built, when the playground will be rebuilt again and combined with a new multi-purpose field.

Students, parents and other community members played a significant role in designing the cover park, as well as the reconfigured Swansea Elementary School.

In addition to the covering the highway by Swansea Elementary School, the Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 53-year-old viaduct, and lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards. See a full list of the community commitments that are part of the project.