It’s anybody’s guess what will become of the Colorado Heights University campus after the last of the students leave the campus at the end of next year.
The nonprofit private university recently announced that it would no longer accept new students and plans to close the school at the end of 2017.
That leaves the 76-acre southwest Denver campus up for grabs.
“It certainly could be a college or education setting again,” says Bronson Hilliard, a spokesman for Colorado Heights. “There are a lot of education institutions that would be lucky to get the property. But it could be something else, and that’s a process that hasn’t even begun yet.”
The campus, at 3001 South Federal Boulevard, has fourteen buildings, including a 1,000-seat theater, an interfaith chapel, a swimming pool, a cafeteria, residence halls and recreational amenities. The focal point of the campus is the landmark administration building, a Romanesque, six-story structure designed by one of Denver’s premier architects, Frank E. Edbrooke, the same architect who built the Brown Palace Hotel. The administration building has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.
With a vision of educating women in the Rocky Mountain region, the Sisters of Loretto founded Loretto Heights Academy as a Catholic girls’ high school in 1886. Over the years, the school became a college that included teacher-education programs, nursing programs, and classes in business and dance for both men and women.
Teikyo Loretto Heights University, which focused on international students, opened on the campus in 1989. Then, in 2009, Teikyo University Group, a Japan-based multinational educational foundation, opened Colorado Heights University. Denver Public Schools also operates several programs on the campus.
The university’s staff is working to assist the campus’s 500 students, about 400 of which are English-language-certificate students who are expected to earn their certificates by next fall. The remaining 100 are bachelor and graduate students who will either graduate or transition to nearby schools to complete their programs.
Project: Colorado Heights University
Address: 3001 South Federal Boulevard
This is the seventh in a series of stories about building projects around town. Read more about development in Denver on our Construction Watch page.