Renovations before the Renovations at DJDS!

Renovations before the Renovations at DJDS!
  • Athletics
  • Outside the Classroom
DJDS Marketing Team


By the DJDS Marketing Department


You may have heard a lot about this summer’s upcoming renovation -- but did you know that there have been many beautifications to campus happening in the past few years?

About a year ago, our Strear Family Gym got an amazing facelift. Thanks to community philanthropist Michael Staenberg, the gym as well as other parts of the school were spruced up with some colorful paint.



Staenberg toured the school for the first time in the fall of 2022, and immediately had a vision for how great the campus could look with some simple cosmetic improvements– one of his specialties as a builder and as a philanthropist. He wanted the building to give off a better first impression because he said: “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” His first improvement was a gift of “Hanukkah light” – replacing all the lighting in both buildings (and the gym) over winter break 2022-2023. The new lights are brighter and more efficient, as well. The painting followed during Passover break, and made a huge impression for students returning to school after break.


Before the Strear Family Gymnasium revamp.


After the Strear Family Gymnasium revamp.


The Strear Family Gymnasium was overfull this past March when our DJDS Tigers hosted games to qualify for the State Tournament, in which they ended up advancing to the Final 4. It was our second consecutive year hosting a regional tournament at home, however, and the gym made our Tiger players look even more professional.



When asked why he gets involved in projects like this, Staenberg said he does it “because it makes me feel good” – and he has a knack for seeing the potential to make a space look significantly better, often with only minor improvements needed. 

Most recently, our Baseball field got an upgrade. This included a new pitcher's mound, a batting cage, and a new backstop. The sprinkler systems have also had extensive repairs, which will help maintain the grass.

DJDS parent & Board member Carley Brooks and her husband Dan helped to spearhead the fundraising effort for sports field improvements. Coming off a state championship 2022-2023 season for our Boys Varsity Basketball team, the Brooks family (including current 10th grader Jackson) recognized the sports potential within our community. Jackson has always had a passion for baseball and was excited to stay at Denver JDS through high school – recognizing that he would get a lot more play time than if he were to attempt to make a team at a large, competitive high school.

After the field improvements and a more complete coaching staff and team were set up for this year, the next step was to help the players take more ownership in groundskeeping. “I love that the kids can get involved with taking care of our spaces as well,” said Carley Brooks.

Over the last month, our soccer field got a facelift as well– the turf was scraped of weeds and debris, leveled, and new grass seed was planted. The sprinklers were also repaired and the entire field now looks green and lush. 

DJDS Athletic Director Josh Lake commented: “It’s exciting to see so many of our students play the variety of sports we offer. At DJDS 72% of our UD students play sports — This is a unique situation due to our no-cut policy that focuses on inclusion and team building. The Tigers are poised to excel in a variety of sports next year.”

The upper division has also started a school beautification committee–spearheaded by soon-to-be middle school dean, Megan Zitron. Among other initiatives, the committee is working to hang student artwork and place live plants throughout the Upper Division building. The Committee will also help decorate the new Upper Division library and “book nook” (under the lobby stairs).  



The idea of the library was first floated by a handful of DJDS students and teachers. The husband-and-wife team of Aryeh and Chagit Gibor (Director of Innovation) helped bring the concept to fruition through their carpentry and design work.  Dozens of faculty members and families have donated books for the new library, which is set to open officially at the beginning of the 2024-25 school year.    

There’s exciting things happening at Denver JDS– but the renovation this summer is not the only thing!

Want to get an email each time a new blog post goes up? Just click the yellow bell button above this post. Then click on "Blog" and select "Next." Fill out your contact information and select "Sign Up."