The Huskies are getting a new home, and we’re celebrating with a ceremonial turning of dirt.

Students, teachers, parents and members of the community are invited to a groundbreaking ceremony at Hillcrest High on Thursday, May 31 to herald the start of a rebuild of the campus. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. with a reception followed by a ceremony at 6 p.m. 

The new Hillcrest High is being made possible by a $283 million, tax-rate-neutral bond approved by Canyons voters in 2017. Construction will start this summer and be undertaken in phases over three years to allow the school to remain in operation.

The 56-year-old school has a strong heritage, and special attention is being paid to building a modern environment wired for emerging technologies without sacrificing elements of the existing building that are rooted in tradition. DelMar Schick Stadium will remain untouched, but among major improvements are a new field house and performing arts complex to match Hillcrest’s history of excellence in the arts.

The floor-plan for the new school — the addition of a commons area and emphasis on open spaces illuminated by natural light — is being designed with school safety and security in mind. Classroom windows that open onto commons areas for group study and teacher-collaboration will contribute to a culture of transparency and inclusiveness. Hallways will be configured to provide administrators an unobstructed view of the campus, and classroom windows configured to preserve safety zones in the classrooms.

Since Canyons’ inception, the District has worked to plan for growth while also addressing the safety and technological deficiencies of the aging buildings it received from a previous school district. Thirteen improvement projects were financed with proceeds from a bond approved by voters in 2010.  The last project, a renovation of Indian Hills Middle, will be finished in time for the start of school this fall. 

The 2017 bond will make it possible for CSD to rebuild six schools, including Hillcrest, remodel Alta High, build a new elementary school in west Draper to accommodate growth, remodel offices at six elementary schools, and add skylights for more natural light at 18 elementary schools.
The recognized parent group for Canyons’ schools has endorsed the District’s $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal that voters are being asked to consider this Election Day. 

The Board of the Canyons’ Region 17 PTA, which encompasses all Parent-Teacher and Parent-Teacher-Student Associations within the District, voted Tuesday, Sept 12 to publicly support the measure, which would generate funds to build and renovate schools. 

The endorsement reflects the trust and support that Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, Draper, Midvale and Alta families have placed in our schools, teachers and staff, said CSD Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “We are fortunate to live in a forward-thinking community that puts children first and that values education.”

Canyons District has made strides toward addressing $650 million in repair and safety upgrade needs inherited from a predecessor school district in 2009. Next fall’s completion of the remodel of Indian Hills Middle will be the 13th and final project promised to voters as part of a 2010 bond. Passing a second bond would allow the District to improve and modernize an additional 27 schools benefitting 17,000 children.

“The success of our children is directly linked to the success of our schools. All Canyons District students deserve safe and healthy learning environments wired for the demands of today’s high-tech educational standards,” said PTA Region 17 Director Tonya Rhodes said. “The Board of Education has wisely committed to turn dirt in every corner of the District while focusing on the oldest schools with the highest-priority safety needs, and they’re designing the bond so that it won’t raise property taxes. It’s a fiscally-sensible plan that will benefit generations of children to come.”

A detailed list of the improvement projects that would be made possible by the bond can be found on CSD’s website.
With reconstruction of Butler Elementary at the halfway mark, teachers were recently given a sneak preview of the building — and their enthusiasm was palpable. “Look at that view!” exclaimed 5th grade dual immersion teacher Kim Cope, catching a first glimpse out the window of her spacious new classroom. 

cope.jpgOf the building’s remarkable features, most remarkable of all are its uninterrupted, 360-degree views of the mountain-rimmed Salt Lake valley. West-facing classrooms look out upon the Oquirrh range, and east-facing rooms offer a close-up of the Wasatch. Look north and it’s possible to spot Mt. Olympus. Gaze south and see just past the Point of the Mountain.

So it’s fitting that this latest addition to the Canyons District be themed around world famous canyons. Each learning suite is designated by a color to correspond with renowned hikes in Utah (Buckskin Gulch), California (Kings Canyon), Hawaii (Waimea Canyon), Alaska (Keystone Canyon), Arizona (Antelope Canyon) and Texas (Palo Duro). “It helps with wayfinding. This way any child, no matter what age, can identify with the different areas of the building,” explains Alex Booth, one of the architects at VCBO. outside.jpg

Even the design of the two-story building with its jutting stairwells that lead to a balcony overlooking “basecamp,” or the school’s cafeteria, leave one with that top-of-the-world feeling. “I can hardly wait to move,” remarked a teacher during the tour.

School faculty and staff won’t have to wait much longer. Crews have begun to place the sheet rock, furniture will be moved the first week of June, and an open house is tentatively scheduled for early August — in time for the 2016-17 school year. The rebuild is among 13 on time and under budget construction projects financed with proceeds from a $250 million bond that voters approved in June 2010, explained Canyons Business Administrator Leon Wilcox at a recent Board of Education meeting.

Once Butler Elementary is completed, just three projects remain:

  • Midvale Middle School: Crews have installed the foundation and plumbing and expect to have the building fully enclosed by fall. Work on the interior will begin in winter with a completion date of August 2017.
  • Alta View Elementary has been designed, and is currently out for bidding for sub-contractors. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on April 19.
  • The design process is underway for a remodel of Indian Hills Middle School. Designs will be brought before the Board in fall along with a resolution to temporarily relocate the school to the Crescent View building in 2017-18. Construction will begin in spring 2017 with a completion date of August 2018.
With Butler Elementary, as with all the projects, careful attention was paid to maximizing space and resources. Staying within a budget means there aren’t a lot of fancy extras. But a school committee had some say in the amenities, including lockable wardrobes, private bathrooms for kindergarteners and — at Principal Christie Waddell’s suggestion — a small outdoor patio adjacent the faculty lounge.

Each classroom is wired to accommodate the latest in educational technology. Dual-immersion teachers have adjoining classrooms, enabling them to more easily collaborate. Internal skylights let in more light. And windows looking out into the hallway of each classroom allow teachers to keep an eye on those students who are pulled aside to work with aides.

It’s all these little things combined that promise to streamline instruction and make for a more enjoyable learning atmosphere for everybody, Cope says. “We’ve got some very happy teachers here.”

For a photo tour of Butler Elementary visit the Canyons District Facebook page

Folks living near Midvale Middle are hearing the cracks and groans of a 60-year-old brick building coming down to make way for the future.

Demolition at the school at 7852 S. Pioneer Street started this week — and workers will be on the site for the next two years while they construct a new campus for the community. The building is being dismantled so the District can build a new 203,000-square-foot, three-wing building, which is scheduled to be done in fall 2017.

The new school will feature large windows to allow for a lot of natural light, high-tech classrooms, teacher-collaboration spaces, science and computer labs, a multiple-use front-entrance atrium, a 650-seat auditorium, indoor and outdoor student commons areas, a full-length basketball court with an elevated running track, and dance and exercise rooms, among other amenities.

While crews work on the new Midvale Middle, students and teachers will be housed in the old Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East, Sandy. Students who used to walk to the Midvale Middle will be bused to the temporary school.

However, the scope of construction has changed the District's transportation plans for these students. There is a new bus stop.

Instead of meeting near the campus, students will need to meet seven buses near the Midvale City Park and the Midvale Boys and Girls Club, 7631 Chapel St., at 7:15 a.m. Buses will leave the park site at 7:20 a.m. After school, the buses will leave the school in Sandy at 2:57 p.m. and arrive back at the Midvale Park and Boys and Girls Club at 3:20 p.m.

For late-start Fridays, buses will leave in the morning at 8:55 a.m. 

When school starts this year, the Midvale students will be welcomed by new Principal Wendy Dau and Assistant Principals Karen Moore, Kerry Schroeppel and Kip Carlsen.

The new school is funded by a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010.
The community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of work on the future home of the Midvale Middle Trojans.

The event on Thursday, June 11, 2015 will start with a 5 p.m. reception. The ceremony, which will conclude with the ceremonial turning of the dirt by members of the Canyons Board of Education and Administration, new Midvale Middle Principal Wendy Dau, and several local dignitaries, will start at 5:30 p.m. 

The 203,000-square-foot, three-wing building will be constructed at 7852 S. Pioneer Street, the same location where six decades of Midvale teenagers have attended middle school. Demolition on the old, red-bricked school begins later this month. A community Open House on May 29, 2015 drew hundreds of former students and teachers who wanted to visit their old haunt, take pictures, and reminisce. 

The school, scheduled to be done in fall 2017, will feature large windows to allow for a lot of natural light, high-tech classrooms, teacher-collaboration spaces, science and computer labs, a multiple-use front-entrance atrium, a 650-seat auditorium, indoor and outdoor student commons areas, a full-length basketball court with an elevated running track, and dance and exercise rooms, among other amenities.

While crews work on the new Midvale Middle, students and teachers will be housed in the old Crescent View Middle, 11150 S. 300 East.  They will be welcomed in the new home of the Trojans by new Principal Wendy Dau and Assistant Principals Karen Moore, Kerry Schroeppel and Kip Carlsen. 

The new school is funded with proceeds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in spring 2010. Since its founding in 2009, Canyons District has completed the following bond-funded projects: Corner Canyon High; Midvale Elementary; Albion, Butler, and Draper Park middle schools; academic wings at Brighton and Hillcrest high schools; a new entrance and renovated classrooms at Alta High; and seismic renovations at Sandy Elementary. The newly rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle opens this fall, and work on a new Butler Elementary started this month.

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