Education

Lease agreement approved for Zerger building in Westminster

Doral Academy will occupy the space for the 2017-18 school year

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Doral Academy of Colorado, a charter school that emphasizes the arts, will have a new location next school year.

The Jefferson County Board of Education approved unanimously March 23 a one-year lease agreement with Doral Academy to occupy the Zerger Elementary School building at 9050 Field St. in Westminster.

Zerger Elementary School closed in 2012 following budget cuts.

The district was approached by Doral Academy Building Corp. regarding a one-year lease of the Zerger building for the 2017-18 school year for Doral Academy of Colorado.

The charter school is currently located at 7100 Wadsworth Blvd. in Arvada and serves 176 students in kindergarten through seventh grade. Next year, the school will add eighth grade and expects to serve between 200 and 260 students.

Because of timing, the approval of the lease agreement was made by the board at the March 23 study session instead of waiting until the next regular board meeting.

“For those families wondering where the school will be located next year, it’s important they know that now,” said Jeffco’s acting interim superintendent Terry Elliot.

The board brought up two concerns — the ability to still market the property for sale and the proximity of the charter with neighborhood schools.

District staff assured the board the one-year lease does not have the option to renew and the district can market the property for sale following the 2017-18 school year.

“I believe that we already have too many charter schools located in a fairly small geographic area,” said board president Ron Mitchell, echoing a statement from fellow board member Brad Rupert. “I just frankly don’t think we need another charter school there. It’s hard for me to feel happy about this.”

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