The Turing School of Software & Design spent eight months looking for space to house the 500 students who enroll in its program annually before finding suitable digs in the basement of the Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. building at 1331 17th Street in lower downtown.
“I thought it might take two or three months,” says Jeff Casimir, Turing’s executive director. Though there is certainly space available because of the downturn in the oil and gas industry, the problem, Casimir says, is that most landlords aren’t interested in leasing to a school because the number of people per square foot would require the HVAC to be reconfigured.
But the basement space in the Guaranty Bank building is perfect for Turing, which boasts that about 93 percent of its graduates are employed full-time within 120 days of completing one of its seven-month programs.
“Not a lot of people are interested in windowless basements, but that’s where we belong,” Casimir says. “They were excited about having someone use the whole basement.”
Though most of the buildout for the space was simple, the giant vault couldn’t be removed, so the computer-programming school solved the problem by cutting windows into the wall and creating three group meeting spaces.
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The move allows Turing to consolidate its classrooms — now spread across four different buildings — into one space. At 17,500 square feet, the new space is nearly double the size of Turing’s original location, in the basement of the building that houses Patagonia, at 15th and Blake streets, allowing Turing to increase the number of students it serves each year from about 300 to 500.
“More than likely we’ll end up taking another full or half floor in a year or two,” Casimir says. “The day we move into this space [January 23], it will be full. As soon as we add one more class or program, we’ll have to start over. Thankfully, there’s a bit of availability in the building.”
Project: Turing School of Software & Design
Address: 1331 17th Street
This is the fourteenth in a series of stories about building projects around town. Read more about development in Denver on our Construction Watch page.