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Sandy Journal

Bell View, Edgemont elementaries may consolidate as construction continues in Canyons district

Jan 28, 2020 02:37PM ● By Julie Slama

Construction of the new 1,400-seat auditorium at Alta High should be complete this spring. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In one vote, Canyons Board of Education approved the final financing and construction schedule of the remaining major projects with the $283 million bond voters approved in November 2017, including the move to consolidate Bell View and Edgemont elementary schools into one new school.

However, before the final decision is made in April, the community has 120 days to meet and give feedback, said Canyons School District Business Manager and Chief Financial Officer Leon Wilcox.

“All the teachers will stay, but will be housed in one location,” Wilcox said about the plan, adding there will be positions in the district for every employee when the two schools are combined. “We will open the new elementary school with a new principal, new branding, mascot, colors and new name, which hasn’t been decided.”

With final approval, the new 85,000 square-foot school is expected to begin the one-year build by summer 2021 on the current Edgemont campus, 1085 South 9800 South. Bell View’s property may become Diamond Ridge’s new home in 2022 as the school recently had its parking lot expanded and will have skylights installed this summer. Diamond Ridge is now housed at CTEC’s campus in Sandy.

Edgemont was built in 1958 and Bell View, eight years later.

Bell View community had a Jan. 24 meeting scheduled with Superintendent Jim Briscoe and Wilcox to answer questions about the rebuild that voters approved as part of the 2017 bond.

“It’s a really exciting time for our community to look forward to a beautiful, new school,” Principal Chanci Loren said.

In a letter to parents, Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino encouraged families to learn where the new school is proposed to be built, plans for hiring a new principal, timelines and proposals regarding housing during the rebuilding year at their Jan. 15 meeting with Wilcox and Briscoe.

A proposed plan is for Edgemont to share space at the former Crescent View Middle School with Peruvian Park Elementary starting in fall 2021 as the latter school will be demolished and rebuilt on-site that same year.

Peruvian Park Elementary, which also held a meeting Jan. 15, will begin its rebuild on the same site in 2021, with construction projected to be completed in summer 2022. The rebuild of the 56-year-old school is projected at $23 million, Wilcox said.

Union Middle School also will begin its rebuild on the soccer field east of the current school in spring 2021, with a two-year construction calendar.

This past fall, a fire was started by a Chromebook or Chromebook cart in an upstairs classroom that spread smoke and left a layer of soot throughout the 52-year-old school, Wilcox said.

“Four classrooms were heavily damaged and work still continues to be done on those,” he said. “We had to wipe down a layer of soot throughout the building, and library books and teachers’ materials need to be replaced.”

Nearby Draper Park Middle School is accepting books for the Union’s school library in February to help replace materials damaged in the fire.

In early January, the Utah State Board of Education approved a request to waive the 180-day instruction requirement for Union Middle School because of an emergency closure of the school for three days and shortened days for 24 days because of the fire.

Alta High construction continues, where the new fieldhouse overlooking the football field and track opened last September and the 1,400-seat auditorium dominating the northwest corner is expected to be completed in March.

“The commons and lunchroom will take another year and the offices will move and be completed in winter 2020,” Wilcox said.

Still ahead of the construction schedule is to move the music rooms and black box theater into the area of the former auditorium in 2021. The current offices will turn into an alumni conference room.

The cost of Alta’s remodeling and construction is $53.5 million, Wilcox said.