What is the future of the Loretto Heights campus? Making me nervous

Loretto Heights Survey Screen Shot 2018-12-11 at 10.22.20 AM

The fate of the historic Loretto Heights campus, at the now-shuttered Colorado Heights University, is again in the spotlight. Not only is there a steering committee mulling the future of the Loretto Heights campus, but there also is a series of community meetings set to begin in January.

Loretto Heights was a high school for women and then a college. The campus stretches back some 130 years, though it was purchased many years ago by the Teikyo University Group, which operated Colorado Heights University. The school closed last year.

Still, it will always be Loretto Heights to many of us in Denver.

As things move forward, there’s also a new survey to find out how people feel about the Loretto Heights campus, which has been purchased by Westside Investment Partners, Inc. The company, based in Glendale, has purchased the 70-plus-acre site for $15.75 million, as noted in today’s Denver Post. An earlier developer, California-based Catullus Development Corp., had pulled out of the purchase. The survey is available to all – not just residents of the southwestern part of Denver.

So far, apparently few buildings are guaranteed to survive, such as the imposing and historic 1891 administration building designed by Frank Edbrooke, and a cemetery on the grounds that will stay with the Sisters of Loretto. But there are dorms, and a really fine theater. The very smart May Bonfils Stanton Center for the Performing Arts dates to 1963, and was designed by Musick and Musick. It cries out for performances.

But at the heart of this, there’s a lot of land sitting at a high point in the city. It is, in short, a beautiful campus, which of course means it is ripe for redevelopment, and what may come next.

The survey asks just a few questions, such as: What do you like about the Loretto Heights area? What about the Loretto Heights area could be improved? And what are your hopes for the Loretto Heights area? The survey also asks about your age range, income range, and where you live, with a final screen that allows those taking the survey to provide a name and an email address for future contact.

Below are links to today’s Denver Post story, a past Post story, the page set up by the City and County of Denver (which contains a link to the survey and meeting information), and a link to District 2 City Councilman Kevin Flynn’s December 2018 newsletter.

He has been working on this project for quite a while, including opening the theater a couple of months ago for a Colorado Symphony Orchestra program designed to invite neighbors to see the theater, which has real promise for someone. The chapel will be open for a holiday program right before Christmas.







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