2024 West High School Walking Tour

May 21, June 18

About the tour: Come visit the “new” West High School building built in 1926! While our beginnings date back to 1883, we were known as Central and Franklin schools until 1902, when we merged with School District No. 1 (East) to become Denver Public Schools, West became the district’s “second” high school. On our tour, we will see portions of the original library, the Alumni Room Museum, tower, basement and grand auditorium.

About the building: West High School was organized in 1883 and occupied two other buildings before moving to the current location on 9th and Elati. The building was designed by noted architect M.H. Edwards In 1926 in English gothic style and executed in light brick with buff terracotta trimmings. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1992.

About the tour guides:

Mia Martinez Lopez, Principal of West High School, is a proud West Cowboy. She is a Denver native and has worked in both the North and West Denver neighborhoods. Her and her husband have lived in the Westside of Denver since 2006, where they raised three children. She has worked in Denver Public Schools since 2001, as a guest teacher, middle school teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Principal. In 2009, she came to West High School as a Student Advisor or “Dean”, fell in love with West and decided early-on that she would be a Cowboy. She had the fortune of working for the traditional West High School as well as be a founding administrator for West Early College. In 2021, Mia was honored to be named the founding principal for the reunified West High School.

Rita Cordova graduated from West High School in 1963. She worked in secretarial positions at West High School from 1987 – 2000 and has served on the West Alumni Board at various times from 1990 to the present. Rita is the Historian and curates the Alumni Room. In addition she co-coordinates the West Campus Food Bank with many other Alumni volunteers for students and families. Rita has two adult children and two grand children.

Accessibility: South High School has elevator access to travel between the floors, and there is ADA ramp access on the South side of the building. The tower is not accessible via elevator – attendees interested in visiting the tour will do so by stairs.