Project to turn old elementary school into affordable housing for Denver Public Schools’ teachers

DENVER – An old elementary school in South Denver might be the future home for Denver Public Schools’ teachers.

Colorado has a teacher shortage, and rising housing prices are not helping.

DPS wants to re-open the former Rosedale Elementary School as affordable housing for new teachers in an attempt to address a teacher shortage who may have difficulties in Denver’s housing market.

According to Colorado’s Data on Teacher’s salaries, average statewide salaries range from about $24,000 in the state’s smallest district in Agate all the way up to about $67,000 in the Cherry Creek School district.

DPS teacher’s average starting salary is about $41,000. The average home price in Denver is about $488,000.

“I guess it would help them out quite a bit,” said David S. Grant. Grant lives near the school. “It’s been empty for so long, they should do something with it…if it’s the teachers to live there or open up for the school or homeless people, something with it.”

The district closed the elementary school back in 2005 because of its small classroom capacity.

There are still details to iron out.

"How many teachers would be helped by using the complex?” Corey Kern asked. Kern is from the Colorado Classroom Teachers Association. "What happens if a teacher’s contract isn’t renewed and where will they live if they don’t work for the district anymore?”

The proposal is in its early stages, so DPS has not come up with how much the project would cost. Neighbors are also concerned about the additional traffic and parking issues.

© 2017 KUSA-TV

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