Editor’s Note: This article was published on Aug. 24, 2022. For an updated list of Denver schools with and without air conditioning for the 2023-24 school year, read our most recent story.
School started in Denver on Monday, and with temperatures climbing into the high 80s this week, 48 campuses still don’t have air conditioning.
That’s fewer than the 55 campuses that didn’t have air conditioning in 2020, when Denver Public Schools asked voters to pass a $795 million bond for a slew of projects, including installing air conditioning at 24 schools. Voters overwhelmingly passed the bond.
Hot classrooms are a perennial problem in Denver, where some school buildings are a century old and temperatures in August can reach the high 90s. The district pushed back the first day of school this year by a week to try to mitigate the likelihood of overheated students.
Of the 24 schools slated to get air conditioning with funding from the 2020 bond, work has been completed at seven schools, said Heather Bock, the district’s director of construction.
Work is nearly completed at another eight campuses, Bock said: Manual High, Merrill Middle, McAuliffe International, Ashley Elementary, Columbine Elementary, Knapp Elementary, and two campuses, Rishel and Smedley, that are home to multiple schools, including KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, Math and Science Leadership Academy, Denver Montessori Junior/Senior High School, and Denver Online High School.
That work at those campuses has been held up by supply chain issues but is scheduled to finish in late fall, Bock said.
Work to install air conditioning is set to start next summer at another nine schools, she said: Thomas Jefferson High, Denver Green School, Steele Elementary, Polaris Elementary, Cowell Elementary, Sabin World Elementary, Denison Montessori, Stedman Elementary, and Carson Elementary.
That will leave 31 schools without air conditioning or plans to install it. Those schools are:
- North High School
- Bryant-Webster Dual Language School
- Denver Language School (two campuses)
- Hamilton Middle School
- Skinner Middle School
- Slavens K-8 School
- STRIVE Prep Sunnyside Middle School
- Asbury Elementary School
- Bradley International School
- Brown International Academy
- Cory Elementary School
- Doull Elementary School
- Edison Elementary School
- Ellis Elementary School
- Godsman Elementary School
- Goldrick Elementary School
- Gust Elementary School
- Johnson Elementary School
- Lincoln Elementary School
- McMeen Elementary School
- Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment
- Next Steps at Barrett
- Park Hill Elementary School
- Steck Elementary School
- Stephen Knight Center for Early Education
- Teller Elementary School
- Traylor Academy
- University Park Elementary School
- University Prep (two campuses)
Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, covering Denver Public Schools. Contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.