If rebuilding a high school is a major undertaking, try tackling three at once. This summer, construction crews will begin work on rebuilds of Brighton and Hillcrest high schools along with a major renovation of Alta High.
Architectural firms, with input from students, parents, employees and community leaders, have been hard at work shaping plans for the improvement projects — the largest and most complicated of many more to be financed by the $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017. At Open Houses in the coming weeks, community members will have a chance to preview the still-developing plans (see the schedule of events below).
“This is such an exciting time for the District,” says Canyons District Board of Education President Sherril H. Taylor. “We’re not just building schools, we’re building communities. With the completion of these projects, all of our high schools will be brought up to a high quality facilities standard. The safety and technological upgrades will improve the learning environments for generations of students, including the children of those now enrolled. It’s a momentous undertaking, and one that wouldn’t be possible without our patrons.”
The high schools will be built in phases over 2-3 years so as to allow them to remain in operation during the construction. Tackling all three at once is ambitious, but in order to keep costs contained, it was imperative to get to work as quickly as possible, says CSD’s Business Administrator Leon Wilcox.
Construction costs have soared, and are expected to continue to rise in the near future, Wilcox says. “We want to lock-in costs now on the largest and most complicated bond projects.”
Each project varies according to the priorities established by the school communities. But among common focuses are school safety, sustainability, and futuristic thinking. Wilcox says, “We’re building these schools to last and to accommodate the rapidly changing technological demands and instructional practices of modern classrooms.”
Careful attention is also being paid to preserve recent investments, such as the schools’ new football stadiums. Taking cues from research on the health and learning benefits of natural light, large windows and skylights are planned for commons areas and classrooms.
Since Canyons’ inception, the District has worked to address the safety and technological deficiencies of the aging buildings it received from a previous school district while also planning for growth. The 13th and final project financed with proceeds from a bond approved by voters in 2010 — the renovation of Indian Hills Middle — will be completed in time for start of the 2018-2019 school year.
Everyone is invited to attend the community Open Houses to showcase plans for the high schools. There will be presentations by architects, and an opportunity to submit questions and comments. The dates, times and locations are as follows:
Brighton High School
Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium
Featuring MHTN Architects
Hillcrest High School
Wednesday, April 18 starting at 6 p.m. in the Auditorium
Featuring FFKR Architects
Alta High School
Wednesday, April 25, 7-9 p.m. in the Auditorium