There are a lot of reasons to rebuild Midvalley Elementary.
Built in 1957, the school is Canyons District’s oldest campus. It opened the same year as the historic launch of the world’s first unmanned satellite Sputnik, a full decade before dot matrix printers were invented, and at a time when the latest teaching tool was an overhead projector. Cleaning chalkboard erasers was regarded a privilege, and duck-and-cover drills were the staple of school safety plans.
But on Tuesday, April 16, as the community breaks out the shovels and hard hats for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the new school’s construction, Principal Tamra Baker is insistent that “in embracing our future, we honor our past.” The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with a public reception, followed by a ceremony, which will begin promptly at 6 p.m.
The modernized building will be safer, more energy-efficient, and better able to support today’s teaching technologies. It’s also being built with Midvale’s growing population in mind to accommodate nearly double the number of students it serves now.
“I can’t tell you how much this rebuild means to our community, to our students, parents, teachers, neighbors and alumni,” says Baker. “Midvalley has a wonderful culture and history, and as a school community, we are going to plant that heart and spirit in every tree, bush and brick. We are really excited about this new building.”
Midvalley is the first elementary school to be rebuilt with proceeds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in November, 2017. It was chosen due to its advanced age, and need for seismic improvements and roof repairs. The new school will be built onsite while students continue to attend the old school.
NJRA Architects designed the new building, and crews with Bud Mahas Construction will start their work this spring. The new school is expected to open for the 2020-2021 school year.
“School staff collaborated on the design, and the architects found a way to bring their vision to life,” says Baker. Skylights and glassed-in walls allow natural light to filter throughout the building. Collaborative space within and outside classrooms will support team-teaching and group learning. The school features a large gymnasium, high-tech media center, and large cafeteria.
No detail has been overlooked. All that’s missing, in fact, is a stand-alone computer lab, which faculty agreed wasn’t necessary, since the school is well on its way to having one computing device for every student in every classroom. “We are high-tech’ing it all the way throughout the building,” Baker says.