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


Ground Breaking for 1st District-Managed Elementary School in Reunion County, Colorado

  • August 10, 2016
  • HCM

School District 27J and architect, Hord Coplan Macht, announce the groundbreaking for the new PreK-5 elementary school in the growing master-planned community, Reunion. This marks the first district-managed elementary school in the community and will address the rapid growth in the district.

Elementary School No. 12 is being designed on a 10-acre site as a new 62,000-square-foot school for 750 students. The school will serve students preschool through fifth grade in the Reunion community. FCI Constructors has been selected as general contractor for the project, estimated at $22 million. The new school is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017 and will join the community’s existing charter school, Landmark Academy.

“The overall goal is to create a neighborhood school that will provide a community gathering place, as well as a variety of learning spaces for students,” says Adele Willson, principal, Hord Coplan Macht. “We’ve engaged with the community and staff to design a school that will meet the needs of 21st Century learners in the future. We were all challenged to create a school with a focus on a flexibility, adaptability, integration of technology and long term durability.”

Several community leaders will be joining the groundbreaking celebration, including Commerce City Mayor, Sean Ford and State Representative, Mary Hodge.

The construction of the school is possible thanks to voter support of a $248 million district bond question in November 2015. The bond will fund the construction of four new additional district schools as well expansions, renovations and improvements to existing district schools and facilities.

“We’re excited to begin construction of this new elementary school in the Reunion community,” says 27J Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chris Fiedler. “This school will not only serve Reunion students but children from other areas of the growing northern portion of Commerce City. It will also ease overcrowding at our existing Commerce City elementary schools. We’re grateful to the community for their support to make this day possible and look forward to welcoming students to their new school next year.”

The design for the school includes a clear main entry point, an appropriate scale of the building related to the surrounding neighborhood and a welcoming connection to the community. The classroom wings are oriented for optimized daylighting with the central core rotated to face Landmark Drive, the main thoroughfare for traffic and arrival at the school with the Administration and Media Center off of the main entrance for convenient public access. Other active spaces, including the gymnasium, cafeteria, art and music rooms are connected via a central corridor. The classroom wings are divided by grade and each have break-out areas to create educational opportunities outside of the classroom.

“My two children have been a part of District 27J since preschool, and both have since graduated. Knowing first-hand the challenges that the students and teachers in this District have gone through with the tremendous growth and need for new and expanded facilities, I am elated to be a part of the beginning of this new 27J,” says Ed Nation, project superintendent for FCI Constructors. “The innovative, student-centered design that focuses on collaboration and discovery, and the community support for the construction brings this District steps ahead, and we’ll hear many student success stories down the road as a result,” says Nation.

Wember Inc. is the owner’s representative for the project.

A naming process is currently underway for the new school with the 27J Board of Education expected to select a name this fall.

About School District 27J
School District 27J educates more than 16,500 students from Brighton, Commerce City, Thornton, and a portion of the city of Aurora and encompasses parts of Adams, Broomfield and Weld counties. Our mission is to equip our students with the tools and knowledge to succeed now and in the future –

Gary Prager

Hord Coplan Macht Adds New Denver Senior Living Studio

  • July 13, 2016
  • HCM

Hord Coplan Macht announces that the firm has added a new senior living studio in Denver, expanding the firm’s expertise in this area. The studio will be led by veteran architect Gary Prager, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, CDT.

Prager joins the firm with 39 years of experience as an architect and more than 35 years of expertise in the senior living market. He will be responsible for expanding the firm’s senior living practice in Denver and overseeing senior healthcare, memory care, assisted and independent living projects. He joins Hord Coplan Macht from H+L Architecture, where he served as senior life practice leader.

“We are very excited to welcome Gary to the Hord Coplan Macht team and look forward to utilizing his deep expertise in the senior living segment to grow this practice area and expand our services in the Denver market,” says Adele Willson, principal, Hord Coplan Macht.

Prager holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from New York Institute of Technology.


Jeffco Public Schools (CO) Breaks Ground on New K-8 School

  • June 2, 2016
  • HCM

The Hord Coplan Macht-designed School is the 1st New Construction Project in a Decade for the District and Will Support the Area’s Ongoing Growth

Jeffco Public Schools and architect, Hord Coplan Macht, announce the groundbreaking today for the new K-8 school at Candelas in Arvada, CO. This marks Jeffco Public Schools’ first new construction project in the past 10 years and will support the ongoing growth of the area.

The new K-8 school at Candelas is being designed on a 10-acre site and will be approximately 100,000 square feet. The school will serve students from kindergarten through eighth grade in the Candelas neighborhood in Arvada. GH Phipps has been selected as general contractor for the project, estimated at $25 million.

“We are thrilled to be working with Jeffco Public Schools on the K-8 school at Candelas,” says Adele Willson, principal, Hord Coplan Macht. “It is being designed as a neighborhood school that will serve as a community amenity and a model for future Jeffco schools with break-out spaces for student collaboration, a learning commons and intentional connections to the outdoors.”

The remaining 15-acre site adjacent to the new school will be considered for future development, giving Jeffco Public Schools flexibility for future programs and buildings.

A 3D fly-through animation of the new building is available:


Candelas_Int01-3 Hord Coplan Macht, Inc. Hord Coplan Macht, Inc.

ENorbeckPark photo by JenniferHughes

East Norbeck Park Honored for Excellence in Landscape Architecture

  • May 17, 2016
  • HCM
Hord Coplan Macht was awarded a Merit award by the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Hord Coplan Macht is pleased to announce that it received an award from the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Presented at the organization’s annual gala, the awards program recognizes projects that demonstrate a superior quality of design and execution.

Earning a merit award was East Norbeck Local Park in Norbeck, MD.  This 25-acre park incudes play and recreational facilities for a variety of ages and activities, and also features a park pavilion and exercise trails that encourage interaction with people and nature.

About the Potomac Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)

The Potomac Chapter represents approximately 360 landscape architects at the local level. The purpose of ASLA is to advance the profession of Landscape Architecture in the eyes of the general public. The Chapter is the main advocacy body to advances the profession on the local level by holding events, meetings, outings and providing information regarding the profession to the local media and schools. The Chapter may also interface with municipal governments regarding local issues that could impact the profession, or the public realm.