Press Releases


Largest Charter School Project in Colorado Opens

  • August 23, 2016
  • HCM

Stargate School Part of Public-Private Partnership + Mixed-Use Development

Thornton, CO (August 23, 2016) – Stargate, a new $51M charter school located on a 43-acre campus and part of a 70-acre mixed-use development in Thornton, opens today. Stargate is the largest charter school project in Colorado, the largest gifted school in the state, and the second largest charter school project to be completed in the nation.

The school, which serves gifted children kindergarten through high school, is part of a mixed-use development in Thornton, in which five acres of retail space and/or commercial support property is planned adjacent to the educational facility. The mixed-use nature of the development is part of a public-private partnership between Stargate School, City of Thornton, the land owner, investors and the design/construction team.

Stargate is chartered by Adams 12 Five Star School District and located at 14530 Washington St. in Thornton, CO near the intersection of 1-25 and 144th.

“Stargate School has served gifted students in grades K-8 for over 20 years. We built our new K-12 campus to allow us to instruct gifted students The Stargate Way through their high school years,” says Josh Cochran, executive director, Stargate School. “Our new learning spaces will allow us to provide differentiated instruction to 1,600 students in grades K-12 at full build-out. All of our students will experience our new passion based gifted class we call ADROIT. Combined with our gifted instruction, our Adroit students, who are already clever or skillful using the hands or mind, will learn to develop a process for producing creative solutions to even the most complex challenges they tackle. We have designed new makerspaces in each of our buildings where students will create through a Hands On Minds On approach that aligns with our values of gifted education,” says Cochran.

The new campus includes two academic buildings, fieldhouse and amphitheater all designed by Denver-based architecture firm, Hord Coplan Macht, to cater to the gifted and talented student population. The expansion includes a high school with an enrollment goal of 1,600 total students K-12. The site design incorporates a quad-style campus, and each academic building includes breakout spaces and a learning commons/makerspace for kids to pursue “passion projects”.

“The campus design and the variety of learning spaces we created reflects the innovative educational vision of the school leadership and board members that we worked with from the beginning. They were an inspiration to the design team,” says Adele Willson, principal, Hord Coplan Macht.

JHL Constructors is the general contractor and Inline Management is the owner’s representative on the project.

Several community leaders, including Thornton Mayor, city council members, school officials and design and construction team members will be in attendance to make remarks and celebrate the opening of the school, which currently serves 1,175 students. Students will begin attending school Wednesday, August 24.

About Stargate
Stargate School was founded in 1994. The school provides a differentiated program designed specifically to meet the needs of identified intellectually gifted learners in order to challenge each student’s academic abilities, support their unique emotional needs, promote individual character development and encourage a life-long love of learning. For more information, visit