art_entranceUniversity Park General Information

Principal: Eric Atonna
Phone: (720) 424-3410
Fax: (720) 424-3435
Address: 2300 South St. Paul Street, Denver, CO 80210
Mascot: Owl
School Colors: Red & White


University Park Elementary School serves children in kindergarten through 5th grade. Our rich mix of ethnically diverse students and high marks on the Colorado TCAP distinguishes us from neighboring schools lacking such diversity. In 2010, University Park Elementary was recognized by 5280 Magazine as one of Denver’s Best Elementary Schools (read the story).  Since 2009, when we were one of only five elementary schools in the Denver Public School system to be recognized as Distinguished, and we continue to meet this benchmark on the DPS School Performance Framework. Children hail from more than a dozen countries around the globe!

upark_friendsBecause of our innovative wellness policy, UPark Elementary has been recognized by the Denver Post as the “healthiest school in Denver” and in 2011 we were awarded the prestigious National Wellness Silver Award from Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program. UPark also has an ongoing partnership with the University of Denver, sharing academic resources and student volunteers.

Within the last five years, we have added a gifted and talented program, integrated arts, band, and a drama teacher to our dedicated and accomplished faculty. Preschool students from the University Park Community may attend the Stephen Knight Center for Early Education before arriving at UPark in kindergarten.

UPark Elementary counts upon a community of parents who readily offer their support to the entire education team, providing ongoing fundraising, classroom or office volunteers, extra tutoring for students, and more. We are a school whose parental community generously gives many hours of volunteer service and raises significant amounts of money in support of the goals that are collaboratively created by our principal, teachers and parents.

School Boundaries

UPark Boundaries Map

School History

front_entranceUniversity Park Elementary School was once known as “the little red brick schoolhouse” to neighborhood residents.

John Babcock, a town trustee and legislator, owned several acres in University Park. In the 1890s, Babcock donated a portion of his estate to the school and served as the school’s benefactor for more than 15 years. The school was built in 1893 to serve the children of the University of Denver’s faculty and staff.  The original building was a red brick structure that contained four classrooms and a lunchroom.

After the University of Denver moved from downtown to its current location, the population of the neighborhood grew steadily. At the time, the University purchased a large amount of land in the area and sold lots to individuals for $150 each. University Park’s first PTA was organized in 1914 and was seventeen members strong.

In 1924, the school added a Spanish-style expansion designed by architect Lester Ernest Varian, who also designed the Phipps mansion. The building was considered cutting edge architecture as it was equipped with five classrooms, a teachers’ room, lockers, a shower room, a clinic, and fire-proof corridors. During that same year, the school became the training school for student teachers from the university.

In the 1940s, the school could no longer handle the large numbers of student teachers and returned exclusively to educating of the area’s children. By 1948, the school ran double sessions to cope with over-crowding. The following year, the building was expanded to include an auditorium, eighteen classrooms, two kindergarten rooms, a new room for teachers, a cafeteria, PTA kitchen, visual aid room, and library.