Thornton is a city in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The population was 29,982 at the 2010 census. Thornton is a suburb of Denver and part of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area. It is named after oil tycoon and philanthropist George Herbert Walker, Earl of Morley. Thornton was founded as a town in 1980 by Bill Brown to provide affordable housing for people who work in the nearby cities of Lakewood and Greenwood Village.
The city of Thornton is located at the southern end of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area and is only a short distance from both Denver and Aurora. It is served by I-70 and U.S. Route 285 making for easy travel for those who live in Thornton and the greater Denver area. Colorado State Highway 93 and U.S. Route 6 provide access to Southwestern Colorado and New Mexico through the Four Corners region. Greyhound Lines offers bus service between Denver and Thornton as well as to other major cities throughout the United States. The city is also served by the Arapahoe-Jefferson Rural Transportation District’s R-Line bus service.
Thornton is served by St. Francis Medical Center, a Level III Regional Trauma Center and Critical Access Hospital. The hospital has both an inpatient and outpatient diagnostic and treatment center that allows doctors to specialize in a number of different specialties. The center also offers a number of outpatient services including physical, occupational and speech therapy. In addition to St. Francis Medical Center, the city is served by several other healthcare providers including Adventist Health care, Centura Active Medical, Dignity Health, Health Net, and Rocky Mountain Hospital. There are several different options for patients who are looking for a healthcare provider close to homes and workplaces in Thornton, Colorado.
Thornton is served by the Cherry Creek School District. The district has two high schools, one middle school and thirteen elementary schools. There are also several post-secondary institutions located in Thornton. Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Johnson & Welsh University-Denver have campuses in the town. The Colorado School of Mines, Pueblo State University, and Western Colorado University have satellite campuses in the city. The Community College of Denver-Thornton offers several associate degree programs as well as occupational and technical training for working adults.
There are many parks and recreation areas in Thornton, Colorado that offer a wide range of activities for people of all ages. Thornton has a large skatepark, BMX track, a skateboard park, several playgrounds, and a number of athletic fields and courts. There are several golf courses in the area, including the Fox Hollow Golf Club and the Highland Links. The Thornton Sports Complex offers a wide range of athletic and leisure activities including gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a skating rink, a soccer field, and a baseball field. The Complex also offers several programs and leagues for people of all ages.
The town has an urban feel with many shops and restaurants dotting its main drag. The city developed several large apartment complexes for lower income residents. Many larger apartment complexes in Thornton are under construction or planned as part of master plans to eliminate sprawl by reducing suburban development outside of city limits.
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