When architects of the new Midvale Middle suggested cloistering the library in a quiet corner of the building, the school’s Media Specialist said, “Sorry, but that just won’t do.”
The library, she explained, should be at the center of the school. It should be an open, inviting space for students to hang out with friends, study, check email, or play an educational videogame. It should be a place to collaboratively explore, create, and even make noise — a place where students find common ground in common interests.
The architects agreed, and the communal design ethic they embraced is evident throughout the entire building, which opens to the public this fall. Students, their families, and members of the community are invited to a sneak preview of the new school at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 8. A reception starts at 7852 South Pioneer St. Midvale UT at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony will begin promptly at 6 p.m.
The red brick structure with its art deco embellishes reflects Midvale’s ethnically diverse and industrial, working-class roots, says VCBO Architecture Associate Brian Peterson. “It evokes strength, strength of unity and strength of purpose.” The school was originally built in 1955, and after 60 years of existence in its quiet Midvale neighborhood, it has become a part of the community.
The new building will be equipped to accommodate 1,100 students on its original footprint. Amenities such as the state-of-the-art auditorium and TV broadcast room will expose students to a variety of educational experiences at a time when that’s what their fast-developing brains crave. Modern heating, cooling, and wiring will make for a more comfortable learning environment adaptable to the latest technologies. Floor-to-ceiling windows will let in natural light, and a student lounge equipped with programmable neon lighting is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
The building’s tiered design helps it blend into the surrounding neighborhood, and its fields and multi-use space and catering kitchen will become a gathering place for neighborhood events.
With this fall’s opening of Midvale Middle and Alta View Elementary, and next year’s completion of the remodel of Indian Hills Middle, Canyons School District will have fulfilled promises made to voters as part of a $250 million bond approved in 2010. In all, the District will have completed 13 major improvements without raising taxes and while maintaining a AAA bond rating.
A Second Chance to Celebrate: Back-to-School Night
Out of town for the ribbon-cutting? Don't fret. You'll have a chance to get acquainted with the new school during back-to-school night on Friday, Aug. 18, which doubles as a community celebration co-sponsored by the city of Midvale. Parents will have a chance to meet their students' teachers from 5-7 p.m., and enjoy a free hot dog from 6-7:30 p.m.