Cantril Elementary

Public Invited to Share Ideas For Future Use, as Castle Rock Purchased Historical School.


Image via Image courtesy of Douglas County Libraries Archives and Local History, Castle Rock, Colorado.

A postcard of the Cantril School’s east facade, located at 312 Cantril Street., Castle Rock’s Cantril. The two-story rhyolite structure has a bell tower and is made of this material. Double-hung windows with transom lights are present throughout the facility. The entrance is through the arched entry under the bell tower and is accessed via steps. On either side of the building are trees. It’s colored up in the sky 1910-1930.

One of Castle Rock’s important architectural landmarks is the Cantril School. As soon as the Town of Castle Rock learned the building would be sold, it became apparent that the town could provide a new venue for community events and help preserve local history. 

The Cantril School, which opened as Castle Rock Elementary School in 1897, is still being used today by the Douglas County School District as a home for staff training and storage. The property was included in the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984 despite no local historic designations. The more than 14,000 square-foot building is located on two acres just east of Castle Rock’s historic downtown, in the Craig and Gould neighborhood. 

Following the Douglas County School District’s recent determination that the building is deemed “surplus,” with the lease set to expire in early 2023, the school may now be bought on the open market. On Nov. 2, the Town Council and the School District’s Board of Education met. 15 people approved a contract to purchase the historic Cantril School. The town now has a 60-day due diligence period before finalizing the purchase. 

The Cantril School, situated at 312 Cantril St., is being considered for several uses. The Town of Castle Rock Board of Education and Jason Gray, Castle Rock’s current mayor, held an open house to get neighborhood input. The open house was attended by many residents who grew up with the Cantril school on Nov. 30, in the school’s auditorium. Staff members from the town passed out fliers to attendees asking them to leave feedback along the entrance wall. Before entering the school’s packed-out auditorium, many people walked around. They mingled with the city council, Castle Rock Mayor, volunteers, and nearby residents about how Cantril should be used further. Some of the proposed ideas from the community ranged from an art museum to a performing arts theatre.

According to Mayor Jason Gray, it will cost $3.5 million and require some maintenance to bring the school up to date with current code restrictions as they advance due to its outdated features and lack of air conditioning. “It’s great that we can use it right away, but we also understand it’s a long process to get back to where we want it,” Gray said.

Gray wants to emphasize history to serve the growing town better. Castle Rock plans to take control of the building in February, even though the city will lease the property back to the school district for the duration of the summer to ease the transition.

By visiting, you can find out more information about the Cantril School and offer ideas for possible uses for the building.