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History

The Bromley East Charter School was an expansion of the 6-12 Brighton Charter School (BCS) community-based concept with the same founders and a similar educational philosophy.

BCS was in its second year of operation as a 300 student, grade 6-12 program in 1999 when the founders began discussing the possibility of a K-8 school with the Bromley Park developer Bob Lembke.  They were confident that by tying into the success of BCS, a new school could be formed with a new building paid for through bond financing. Lembke and the founders originally hoped to have a charter building and a public school both constructed on a donated public school site.  Each school would have its own classroom wing but would share common areas such as a library, gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, etc.  The site would also include a 10-acre adjoining city park.

 

The Brighton Charter founders had also formed a community-based non-profit board known as the Community Education Center (CEC) to serve as landlord and to offer political assistance for the facilities financing.  All of the interested parties met for six months with the 27J school district administration trying to develop the shared concept, but the district rejected the plan because they could only afford to place a modular building on their segment of the shared campus, while the charter would have a permanent structure.  The district needed voter approval to build a permanent traditional public school and it was confident that the approval would occur.

 

At this point, the charter school group moved quickly to draft budgets and plans to build its own K-8 building.  In February 2000 the BCS board and CEC acted on several fronts to establish a new school to open in the fall of 2001.  These steps included:

  • Obtaining a new 31-year charter for Bromley East

  • Obtaining a 31-year charter renewal for BCS

  • Obtaining a 501(c)(3) status for the CEC and Bromley East

  • Establishing a partnership with the city to operate an adjoining 10 acre park

  • Hiring an experienced underwriter (Russ Caldwell, with Kirkpatrick Pettis)

  • Expanding charter budgeting to reflect a 10-year budget complete with debt service

  • Going through the Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Association for issuance of $12.8 million in construction bonds

  • Obtaining investment grade bond rating from Fitch and Moody rating services

 

 

After 8 months of very hard work and a lot of political maneuvering, the following was accomplished:

  • Built a new 88,000 square foot, 810 student K-8 school

  • BCS and BECS became the first charters in the state of Colorado to receive a 31-year contract and a 31-year contract renewal

  • BECS became the first “neighborhood” charter school in Colorado

  • The $12.8 million bond issued was the largest to date in Colorado for a charter school

  • The $12.8 million issuance for a charter through a community non-profit group (CEC) was the first of its type in Colorado

  • BECS was the first and only charter school in the nation to receive investment grade ratings from both Fitch and Moody

  • The school opened in August 2001 with Governor Bill Owens as the keynote speaker.