Skip to main content

Sandy Journal

New White City ‘cool’ school name to reflect nearby canyons, give new home to 800 students

Dec 03, 2020 02:08PM ● By Julie Slama

Plans for 93,000-square-foot Glacier Hills Elementary will incorporate school colors of blue and white throughout the building and an interior visual effect resembling aurora borealis. (Rendering courtesy of Canyons School District)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

“It’s a great day to be a Yeti!” said Julie Winfree, the inaugural principal of a new White City elementary school to replace nearby aging Bell View and Edgemont elementaries.

On Oct. 6, the Canyons Board of Education approved the Yeti as the school’s mascot and Glacier Hills Elementary as name of the school after a four-month process that involved Bell View and Edgemont parents, students, staff members and community members.

The community was surveyed on their preferences, which also included school colors, between the Bear Park Bees, Bear Park Bears, Glacier Hills Yetis and Glacier Hills Dinos, which narrowed it to the Bear Park Bears and the Glacier Hills Yetis before the final email vote, Winfree said.

“I’m glad it’s Glacier Hills as all our canyons were formed by glaciers so we have a history base and a great teaching opportunity for our students,” she said. “We’re branding it new instead of using a combination of the former schools, Bell View and Edgemont, and trying to make it Bellmont or Edgeview.”

The color choice is a blue and white, which will be incorporated into the design of the new two-story building. Both current schools’ colors have blue, so that tradition will carryover, she said.

“Together, Bell View and Edgemont have more than 115 years of history to build upon. When we asked parents and teachers what makes their schools unique, they came up with a surprising number of shared characteristics and ideals,” she said. 

The current Edgemont Elementary was built in 1958 and Bell View, eight years later. Between the two schools, there are about 680 students. The new school will house about 800 students.

While Canyons graphic designer Jeff Olsen will develop the logo and mascot for the new school, Winfree will create an advisory council.

She also will continue to meet with architects from the firm MHTN Architects, which has created new designs for Brighton High, Mt. Jordan Middle and the district office addition.

“It’s fun to do something new and the architects are so excited about the theme,” she said. “They’re creating a visual like the aurora borealis, using colors from that to create hallways of purple, teal and blue to identify grade-level pods. The stairway will feature blue glass.”

The design is similar to Silver Ridge Elementary, a Weber County school, but is being tweaked for the needs of the White City community.

“It’s really open and airy,” Winfree said. “I’m really excited about the collaboration space in the middle of each grade-level pod. We will be able to use that in a lot of different ways, especially as we transition in blending learning groups. It will be great nice not having to go to a gym whenever we need to collaborate. I’m excited to see where our teachers are going to take it.”

The 93,000-square-foot building will be about $23 million in construction costs, part of the $283-million bond voters approved in November 2017, Wilcox said, adding that a contractor is expected to be named in January.

After Edgemont is torn down, the student body will be housed at the nearby former Crescent View Middle School while Glacier Hills is built on the same campus, at 1085 E. 9800 South, Canyons School District Business Manager and Chief Financial Officer Leon Wilcox said.

A proposal is being discussed amongst the Canyons Board of Education whether to move up the timeline and have the Edgemont students finish the school year at Crescent View to allow for construction to begin on the new school before the school year is over. 

“It should take about 14 to 16 months to build the school depending on the delays we see with COVID as factories are shut down,” Wilcox said, adding that he was impressed with the design of Silver Ridge Elementary.

Glacier Hills Elementary is expected to open in fall 2022.

As the two school communities will consolidate into one White City school, Winfree said each employee will still have a job, whether at Glacier Hills or another location throughout the district. The District’s human resources office is working on a timeline for placement, she added.