(Source: Wikipedia)

Centennial, Colorado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The City of Centennial is a Home Rule City located in Arapahoe CountyColoradoUnited States and part of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area . The city was estimated to have a total population of 99,680 in 2008.[3] Centennial is the tenth-most populous municipality in the State of Colorado and its 2001 incorporation was the largest in U.S. history. Centennial is ranked as the 15th safest and 32nd wealthiest city in the country.[6]

City of Centennial, Colorado

MottoSpirit of the Past
Coordinates: 39°35′47″N 104°50′38″WCoordinates39°35′47″N 104°50′38″W
Country United States
State State of Colorado
CountyArapahoe County[1]
– TypeHome Rule City[1]
– MayorCathy Noon
– Total27.9 sq mi (72.0 km2)
Elevation[2]5,830 ft (1,777 m)
Population (2008)[3]
– Total99,680
– Density3,695.3/sq mi (1,431.9/km2)
Time zoneMST (UTC-7)
– Summer (DST)MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP Codes[4]80015, 80016, 80111, 80112, 80121, 80122,
80161 (PO Box)
Area code(s)Both 303 and 720
WebsiteCity of Centennial
Tenth most populous Colorado city



Centennial was formed February 7, 2001 from portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County, including the former Castlewood andSouthglenn census-designated places (CDPs). The citizens of the area had voted to incorporate on September 12, 2000, choosing Centennial as the official name during the vote. Incorporation was approved by 77% of the voters, and the population of the area at over 100,000 made it the largest incorporation in U.S. history as of its creation. The city was incorporated in large part to prevent further annexations by the City of Greenwood Village in the I-25 corridor to improve its tax base. The taxes generated from businesses in the unincorporated portions of Arapahoe County funded the majority of the county’s services, including road work. There were a number of court cases establishing the right of incorporation to take precedence over the right of annexation.

The city was incorporated on a promise to keep city taxes at 1% (one of the campaigns against incorporation appealed to maintain the 3.8% sales tax of the unincorporated county). According to the City of Centennial website, the current sales tax rate is two and one-half times this rate, at 2.5%.

As it is new, many people in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area do not recognize the area by the name Centennial, especially since the “default” city names for the ZIP codes within which Centennial is located are assigned to AuroraEnglewood and Littleton. Thus, mailing addresses that are actually in Centennial often have Aurora, Englewood or Littleton as the city name. This causes considerable confusion, as Centennial and Englewood do not even share a boundary, while some portions of Centennial are surrounded by Aurora and vice versa.

The city recently held a home-rule charter convention, where a new charter was adopted. The new charter was approved by voters on June 10, 2008 by a margin of 2-to-1 [7].

Centennial Airport, formerly Arapahoe County Airport, lies adjacent to Centennial but is in unincorporated Arapahoe County; it is not named after the city, as it predates it by over 30 years.


Centennial covers 27.9 square miles (72 km2). Centennial is roughly divided in half by Interstate 25, with most of its business and entertainment centers lying west of the highway. The city’s boundaries are highly irregular and evocative of a gerrymander, particularly the overwhelmingly residential eastern portions of the city, which appear with Foxfield, portions of Aurora, and unincorporated areas as a distorted checkerboard on a map.

Centennial has many hills, gullies and ravines, and its open spaces are usually accompanied by recreational trails, including the Dry Creek Dam, DeKovend Park, and the Highline Canal. Centennial hosts most native wildlife and is a good reflection of Colorado’s front range ecosystem. Centennial has also seen a boost in coyote populations in recent years, leading to resident education on how to deter coyotes from eating family pets.[8]

Centennial is located at 39°35’47” North, 104°50’38” West (39.5963, -104.8439).[9]


Population: 103,100 (2004 estimate). There are also 36,200 households in Centennial.

The city is approximately 87.4% White, 4.8% Hispanic or Latino, 3.6% Asian, 2.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, and 1/4% from other races.

The median age is 37.2 years, in comparison to the 35.3 year national average. For every 100 females there are 98.0 males.


Centennial is serviced mainly by Littleton Public Schools and Cherry Creek Public Schools, as well as a few private schools.

Public High Schools

Public Middle Schools

  • Campus Middle School (located outside the city in neighboring Greenwood Village)
  • Euclid Middle School
  • Isaac Newton Middle School
  • John Wesley Powell Middle School
  • West Middle School (located outside the city)
  • Horizon Middle School (located outside the city in neighboring Aurora)

Public Elementary Schools – West Centennial

  • Ames Elementary School (Closed at the end of 2008/2009 School Year)
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • Highland Elementary School
  • Highlands Baptist Academy
  • Hopkins Elementary School
  • Lenski Elementary School
  • Peabody Elementary School
  • Sandburg Elementary School
  • Twain Elementary School
  • Dry Creek Elementary School
  • Heritage Elementary School
  • Homestead Elementary School
  • Walnut Hills Community Elementary School
  • Willow Creek Elementary School
  • Greenwood Elementary School (Located Outside the City)

Public Elementary Schools – East Centennial

  • Creekside Elementary School
  • Peakview Elementary School
  • Timberline Elementary School
  • Trails West Elementary School
  • Buffalo Trail Elementary School (located outside the city in neighboring Aurora)

Private Elementary and Middle Schools

  • St. Thomas More Parish School
  • Highlands Baptist Academy
  • Shepherd of the Hills Christian School
  • Centennial Christian Academy
  • C.A.R.E. Middle School


The city is governed in what is known mayor-council style, which limits the city’s tax levying and collection powers. The city council comprises eight members. The Mayor and all Council Members are part-time officials and hold other full time jobs.

City of Centennial Officials
MayorCathy Noon
Councilmembers, Ward IRick DindingerRon Phelps
Councilmembers, Ward IISue BosierKeith Gardner
Councilmembers, Ward IIIPatrick AndersonRebecca McClellan
Councilmembers, Ward IVTodd MillerRon Weidmann
City ClerkBrenda Madison
City ManagerJacque Wedding-Scott

Points of interest

  • International Headquarters for Gamma Phi Beta sorority are located in Centennial. Gamma Phi Beta was the first women’s organization to use the term sorority.
  • On September 10, 2008, it was announced that Centennial will be the site of Colorado’s first IKEA location.[10]