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Centennial, CO

City of Centennial, Colorado
Official seal of City of Centennial, Colorado
Motto: Spirit of the Past

Coordinates: 39°35′47″N 104°50′38″W / 39.59639°N 104.84389°W / 39.59639; -104.84389Coordinates: 39°35′47″N 104°50′38″W / 39.59639°N 104.84389°W / 39.59639; -104.84389

Country United States
State Colorado
County Arapahoe County[1]
Incorporated 2001
 • Type Home Rule City[1]
 • Mayor Cathy Noon
 • Total Template:Infobox settlement/impus/mag
Elevation[2] 5,830 ft (1,777 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 100,377 (US: 274th)
 • Density 3,695.3/sq mi (1,431.9/km2)
Time zone MST (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
Website City of Centennial
Tenth most populous Colorado city

The City of Centennial is a Home Rule City located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States, and part of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area. The city had a total population of 100,377 in 2010 census.[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[5] city in the country.


The City of Centennial was formed February 7, 2001, from portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County, including the former Castlewood and Southglenn 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. The name reflects Colorado’s admission to the Union as the 38th state in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.[6] The state of Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State".[6]

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 of unincorporated areas by the city of Greenwood Village in an attempt to improve its tax base. The taxes generated from businesses in unincorporated portions of Arapahoe County funded the majority of the county's services, including road work. A number of court cases eventually established 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 had appealed to voters 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 the promised rate, at 2.5%.

Since the city is relatively 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 some ZIP codes which include portions of Centennial are officially designated as Aurora, Englewood and Littleton. Thus, some mailing addresses that are actually located in Centennial may still have Aurora, Englewood or Littleton as their official postal address. This causes considerable confusion, as Centennial and Englewood do not even share a common 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 located in unincorporated Arapahoe County. The airport is not named after the city, as it predates the city 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]


Big O Tires, LaMar's Donuts, National CineMedia and United Launch Alliance are among the companies based in Centennial.

Top employers

According to Centennial's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[10] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer
1 OppenheimerFunds
2 Comcast
3 United Launch Alliance
4 US Foods
5 Jones International University
6 United HealthCare
7 South Metro Fire Rescue
8 Saunders Construction
9 U.S. Security Associates
10 National CineMedia


Population: 100,377 (2010 Census). There are also 36,200 households in Centennial.

The city is approximately composed of 87.4% White, 4.8% Hispanic or Latino, 3.6% Asian, 2.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, and 0.3% 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 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
  • Laredo 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
  • Indian Ridge 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
Office Incumbent
Mayor Cathy Noon
Councilmembers, District I Rick Dindinger Vorry Moon
Councilmembers, District II Sue Bosier Keith Gardner
Councilmembers, District III Ken Lucas Rebecca McClellan
Councilmembers, District IV Stephanie Piko Ron Weidmann
City Clerk Brenda Madison
City Manager John Danielson

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.[11] The IKEA Centennial location opened on July 27, 2011. It is the second largest IKEA store in the United States.[12] On October 7, 2011, IKEA Centennial was awarded the Project of the Year by the City of Centennial.[13]

Surrounding municipalities

North: Greenwood Village, Aurora
West: Littleton Centennial East: Aurora
South: Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Foxfield, Parker

See also


External links

  • City of Centennial website
    • CDOT map of the City of Centennial
  • Centennial Airport
  • South Suburban Parks and Recreation
  • Arapahoe Library District
  • Cherry Creek Schools
  • Littleton Public Schools
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