If these walls could talk, they would tell stories of edge-of-your-seat wins and losses, drenched-with-sweat practices, the thump-and-blare of the pep band, and the heard-for-miles cheers of generations of Huskies.

While history has been kind to Hillcrest's Art Hughes Gymnasium, the time has come to build new memories in a facility that's being constructed for the generations to come.

A pack of former players, some of whom played on the school's first championship-winning team in 1968, attended the Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 boys hoops game against Kearns High. They were honored at the outset of the game for contributing to the strength of the home of the Huskies and mark the last home game played by the boys team before the more-than-50-year-old gym is torn down to  make way for the new Hillcrest High, which will be built in phases over the next three years. 

Construction crews are already working on the site of the school, which is being built with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November 2018.  It’s one of four  construction projects now being done in Canyons District, including a rebuild of Brighton High, a major renovation at Alta High, and a classroom-wing addition at Corner Canyon High. 

At the region game, the former players, who are brothers and friends, shook hands, hugged and re-lived the buzzer-beating shots, off-the-board rebounds, and the bonds built during the hours of practice and game-time play. They talked about the days gone by, when the entire community came to watch the Huskies hit the hardwood.   

“It was a lot of fun to play here,” said Ron Hatch, the 6-foot 4-inch center of the title-holding 1968 squad. “Both sides of the court would be full (of cheering fans.)”

But there was a lot less to do in those days, he says, no Netflix, no Internet, no video games. “People came out to watch basketball. It was different then. It was what everybody did.” 

“The game was different then, too,” he said. “You didn’t worry about who was going to get the  ball. You just went out and played. It was so much fun.” 

George Hughes, the son of the coach after whom the gym is named, recalled the good times had in the gymnasium throughout the years. “When I first entered his gym, I was just in awe,” he said. At the time, the Huskies’ gym was new, shiny, and ready to welcome the community. 

Hughes said his father, who died in 2003, was immensely proud to coach the Huskies, and led the school to state championships, including the school’s first hoops title.

George Hughes said he was thrilled to attend the school while his dad was at the hoops helm, and held up his golden “H” that he earned for his letterman’s jacket.  “I was proud to have gone to this school, to have played for this school.” 

On Tuesday night, the stands were full of cheering students, parents, friends and boosters. The cheer squad jumped and flipped, and the Hillcrest drill team hip-hopped through a half-time routine. While the Huskies did not emerge victorious, they played as strong as their legacy.

On Friday, Feb. 15, the girls' hoops team will take the floor at 7 p.m.  At the sound of the game-ending whistle, an era will end. And the score will be the last one tallied in the stadium where champions have been made.
Think it’s challenging to dig out of your driveway on a snowy winter morning in a mad rush to get your kids to school on time? Try readying 45 schools to receive them.

When the wind bites and ice hits, Canyons District custodians and ground crews report to work while it’s still dark, often as early as 3 to 5 a.m., to make sure our schools are warm and welcoming. A crew of 15-25 snow-plow trucks have generally already done a first pass to clear parking lots, but often there’s plenty of work to be done to remove slush and ice from sidewalks and entryways.

“Depending on the amount of snow, it can take one-to-three hours to clear an elementary campus, or longer for a middle or high school,” says Assistant Director of Facility Services Scott Taggart. “If we do our jobs well, what we do generally goes unnoticed. But there’s no question that what we do is important. It’s one of the many ways this District is working behind the scenes to keep schools healthy and safe.” BusinSnow

Canyons also owns seven plow trucks to deposit ice-melt in advance of storms. On any given winter, the District will use in excess of 500 tons of the de-icing material. To put that in perspective, one ton is the equivalent of 40 store-bought bags of ice-melt weighing 50 lbs. apiece. Now imagine 20,000 of those bags, and you get the picture.

A half-dozen alarm responders also monitor school systems to ensure thermostats, pipes, water heaters, furnaces, and other essential functions are in good working order. And bus drivers get an early start, surveying road conditions at about 4 a.m. to determine if the District’s fleet of 167 buses are able to safely transport 14,591 children to and from school.

Computerized engine heaters are deployed to keep the diesel-run buses warm enough to start in the frigid morning temperatures. But even in the coldest of cold-snaps, our buses, which average 12,743 miles a day, can overheat or break down, which is where a team of 27 dispatchers, routers and mechanics come into play. Each year, Canyons buses are serviced an average of 2,800 times, from oil changes to engine overhauls.

And, of course, we rely on the cities our schools serve—Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Sandy, Midvale, and the Towns of Alta and Brighton—to keep our roadways maintained and employ crossing guards who, rain or shine, help students traverse busy roadways and intersections.

“The safety and welfare of our students is a communitywide priority in Canyons District,” says CSD’s Transportation Directory Jeremy Wardle. “It takes all of us to put kids first.”

It's a cold morning so bundle up and give yourself plenty of time to get to school today. The snow-plow drivers have been working hard to get the roads ready for the morning drive.

Please, give yourself extra time to walk and drive to school or arrive at the bus stop safely—and be careful out there. Be on the lookout for young children walking to schools and bus stops, and be mindful that buses make frequent stops. 

On wet, wintry days, our schools are lenient with tardies, because we want everyone arriving to school safe, sound and ready to learn.

See you at school, and keep this link handy in case you have questions about our emergency weather guidelines. 
To make up for the instructional time lost due to Wednesday’s snow day, a make-up school day has been scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15.

The date was chosen as a more prudent and less disruptive alternative to holding the make-up day on Presidents Day or during Spring Recess, the two options that are stipulated by the District’s Board-approved calendar guidelines. The Canyons Board of Education’s decision was done under a one-time suspension of those stipulations during a meeting of the Board on Thursday scheduled specifically for this purpose.

“The Board felt it was important to preserve quality instruction time, and Friday, Feb. 15 was the best option. We also recognize that many employees and families have already booked vacation and travel plans over the federal holiday, which we observe as a District,” says Canyons Board President Nancy Tingey.

Friday Feb. 15 was previously a no-school day for students, but is a contract day for school employees, which means they are already scheduled to be at work.

All Canyons District schools will now hold school on Feb. 15 according to their normal Friday schedules. Buses will also be operating that day. Click here to access the bell schedules for elementary schools, and here for middle and high schools. Middle schools will still maintain a late-start and elementary schools will have an early-out schedule.

Questions? Please find answers to frequently-asked questions below, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your Make-Up Day Questions Answered

Why do schools have to schedule a make-up day? 
Under state rule, public schools in Utah are required to hold a minimum of 180 instructional days and recover any days lost due to inclement weather. Canyons District’s calendar guidelines stipulate that make-up days be held on Presidents Day or during Spring Recess. The Board’s decision to hold a make-up day on Monday, Feb. 15, 2019 was done under a one-time suspension of those stipulations.
What will happen if I keep my child out of school on the make-up day?
Canyons schools will follow current attendance policies, which allow for planned vacations. Parents wishing to excuse a student’s absence need to follow the usual steps by phoning their school’s attendance office. You can find more information on the district’s attendance policies here

What happens if we have more snow days this year? 
If Canyons District uses up all of its designated make-up days, it can petition the Utah State Board of Education for a waiver of any additional days missed. Such waivers are generally granted only under extraordinary circumstances, and can take some time to review. CSD may also decide to change the school calendar by extending the school year. Any changes made to the current school calendar would have to be approved by the Canyons Board of Education.
Bundle up!  It's a snowy and cold morning, but Canyons District schools will be operating on a regular schedule today, Feb. 7, 2019.

Canyons transportation employees who have been driving the roads since 4 a.m. say they are able to safely navigate the roads.  As a result, buses and schools will be running in their regular schedules. 

Heavy snow and dangerous road conditions forced the cancellation of school in Canyons District on Wednesday, Feb. 6. As student safety is our No. 1 priority, all schools and District Offices were closed for one day.  Night activities, including classes at the Canyons Family Center, were cancelled due to the extreme weather and dangerous road conditions.

Snow closures are rare. Such decisions are made only after careful consideration by Canyons administrators in cooperation with the Transportation Department and after reviewing weather forecasts.
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