Press Release: DA Announces Building on Excellence 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign

Denver, Colo. (December 10, 2018) – Denver Academy (DA) is pleased to announce its 50th Anniversary capital campaign titled Building on Excellence. After years of planning and research, Denver Academy’s Board of Directors approved the campaign which supports a two-phased construction project currently underway, as well as a focused effort to grow the school’s endowment fund. The target date for completion of the campaign and the construction projects it supports is the school’s 50th anniversary, 2022.

“This is one of the most impactful projects in the history of our school,” said Headmaster Mark Twarogowski. “Over the past 46 years, Denver Academy has developed a student-centered, transformative education model that empowers diverse learners. We now have the opportunity to ensure that our spaces serve the needs of our students and faculty and match the quality of our programs now and as we look to the next 50 years.”

Building on Excellence - Phase One
On May 1, DA held a groundbreaking ceremony and celebration for Phase One of construction, which began in June of 2018 and will continue through the spring of 2019.
  • Construction of Athletic Center
    • Phase One construction includes the new James E. Loan Athletic Center located on the southeast corner of Denver Academy’s 22-acre campus, adjacent to Richardson Hall. The 25,000 square-foot facility will have a regulation varsity-sized multi-use gym, complete with 500 seats, which will allow the school to host regional and state championships. 
    • The building will include additional features like locker rooms, a weight room, and a dance studio. It will also provide a place where DA’s community of students and staff can all gather in one location. 
    • The new center has been named in honor of James E. Loan who was with Denver Academy from 1974 to 2008. Mr. Loan started as Associate Director and Master Teacher at DA and was the co-creator of the school’s pioneering curricula. In his more than three decades with the school, he served as a strategist, fundraiser, and administrator, specifically in his role as Denver Academy Headmaster from 1992 to 2008.

  • Elementary/6th Grade Building Renovation
    • Renovation of Denver Academy’s Elementary and 6th Grade Building is also happening during Phase One construction of the Building on Excellence project and completion is expected in mid-January 2019. Right-sized classrooms and flexible learning spaces will help DA Faculty teach students in the way each student learns best, which is Denver Academy’s specialty.

  • Growing the DA Endowment Fund The final element of Phase One of the Building on Excellence campaign is growing the Denver Academy Endowment Fund. This fund ensures support for need-based tuition assistance for families attending DA and competitive faculty compensation. The Endowment also provides ongoing programmatic support of DA’s approach to teaching and learning, which includes honoring diverse learners, a student-centered focus, and a relationship- based, differentiated curriculum.
Building on Excellence - Phase Two
Phase Two includes a new Performing Arts Center to shine a light on the talents and passions of DA’s students. The anticipated cost of Phase One and Phase Two combined is $25M. Phase Two construction will begin as soon as sufficient funds are raised.

Building on Excellence - Community Support
With the generous support of Denver Academy’s Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and major donors, Denver Academy has raised over $17,500,000 during the quiet phase and to date for the Building on Excellence campaign. DA community support includes 99% of Faculty and Staff participation and 96% participation from the DA Board of Directors.

"As a student myself, I can say without hesitation that DA saved my life,” said Campaign Co-Chair and Board Chair-Elect Kristy Taddonio Mullins. “The new facilities will promote school pride and enhance DA’s great programs. Additionally, through a larger endowment fund, we are ensuring that teachers are compensated for their extraordinary work and that future generations of students can experience the same Denver Academy magic that I experienced as a student.”
  • Campaign Cabinet Denver Academy has assembled a Campaign Cabinet to provide direction and support throughout both phases of the Building on Excellence campaign. The Campaign Cabinet is led by Co-Chairs/Board Members: Kristy Taddonio Mullins (DA Class of ’94) and Steve Lockton, a DA Parent.
Additional Campaign Cabinet members are listed below:
  • DA Headmaster Mark Twarogowski 
  • Current Chair of the Board of Directors Ed Callahan
  • Board of Directors Members: Erica Bissette, Dylan Geller (DA Class of ’92), and Tom Stefaniak
  • Liane (Former DA Board of Directors Member) and Bob Clasen
  • Emeritus Directors: Dr. Nancy Gary, Tim O’Connor and Phil Johnson
  • Lou Raders

Honorary Cabinet members include:
  • Dr. Nancy and Sam Gary (Co-Chairs)
  • Gayle and Steve Mooney (Co-Chairs)
  • Board of Directors Member: Diana Zeff Anderson
  • The Bowlen Family o Sharon and Lanny Martin
  • Carrie and John Morgridge
  • Kristen and Blair Richardson
  • Mary and Jeff Ross
  • Judi and Marvin Wolf

Student Penny Project
The Building on Excellence Penny Project is a school-wide student program that supports DA’s 50th-anniversary campaign. The project provides a chance for students to make a lasting impact on their campus and community by collecting and contributing their pennies with the hope of collecting one million by the spring of 2019. Through the Penny Project, DA strives to educate students on the concepts of philanthropy, math and fiscal responsibility, and to help students participate and visualize the idea of what “one million” looks like.

The program is being coordinated by the Penny Project Posse, a group of faculty members spanning all divisions, led by Middle School Teacher and Penny Project Posse President Ashley Watkins. For more information about the DA Penny Project, visit www.denveracademy.org/pennyproject.

Additional details about the Building on Excellence campaign and a link to donate are available online at denveracademy.org/build-da. For renderings of the new buildings and construction updates, visit denveracademy.org/construction. To hear about the campaign from DA students and teachers, watch the Campaign Video.

About Denver Academy
Celebrating 46 years in 2018, Denver Academy (DA) was founded on the maxim that students thrive when taught in the way they learn best. DA is one of the top schools in the nation dedicated to teaching diverse learners, including those with dyslexia and ADHD. Denver Academy’s innovative learning model is based on the balanced application of classroom management, information processing, and academic literacy. Small class sizes of 12-14 students facilitate student-centered differentiated instruction. Flexible placement and several academic levels within each core subject, including Honors classes and advanced coursework, allow faculty to teach to each student’s optimal level. DA’s 22-acre campus in Denver is integrated with state-of-the-art technology. For more information, visit www.denveracademy.org.

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Photos and video are available upon request.
Media Contact:
Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Denver Academy, 
303-777-5870 x203