Part of the requirements of any local bond offering is to provide language, in favor of the bond offering, that will be sent to voters. This year, Park City School District is placing a bond on the ballot for $56 million to renovate and rebuild schools. Therefore they had to submit language for the postcard. Here is that language, and the school district’s justification, for the bond offering:
Argument in Favor of a $56,000,000 Bond Election Proposition
Since 2006, the Park City School District has seen 13% enrollment growth, with growth accelerating the last few years. Five of seven schools have reached capacity. Trailside Elementary installed mobile trailer classrooms this year and Parley’s Park Elementary had a summer remodel to increase classroom count. As student population grows, the goal is to provide excellent and innovative education while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
As Park City and Summit County forecast further growth, a team of citizens and educators spent over a year studying school facilities, with public input. The team developed the following, prioritized list of projects totaling $66,306,336:
- PCHS Expansion including performing arts, career programming, and gymnasium remodel – $27,500,000
- New 5/6 School at EHMS Campus – $24,800,000
- McPolin Student Safety Improvements – $1,400,000
- Treasure Mountain Junior High Demolition – $606,336
- Athletic Facilities Improvements – $12,000,000
This list addresses essential needs, only, with over 80% of the cost relating to needed classroom space.
The high school expansion includes 16 classrooms, additional music, dance, and drama facilities, specialty rooms for biomedical, engineering, and technical programs, and gymnasium improvement. The original, unimproved 1977 gym doesn’t have enough space for PE classes as we grow. Almost all students take PE class.
The new 5/6 school will be built adjacent to the current Ecker Hill school, allowing for improved programming for all courses, conforming to state definitions of elementary/secondary programming, and reducing the number of student school transitions. The school will share fields, auditorium and kitchen with the current facility that will become the 7/8 school.
The changes to McPolin mitigate safety issues and increase future expansion opportunities. The current Treasure Mountain Junior High facility has reached end of useful life, requiring major system maintenance approaching the cost of a new, greener, better laid-out school.
Athletic facilities improvements will group fields, tennis courts, and ancillary structures (locker rooms, concessions, score/press box, equipment storage, multi-use indoor practice space) to support our student athletes.
Paying for construction costs over the proposed 20-year bond term is the least taxpayer impacting way to proceed. Bond financing also speeds project completion, which limits taxpayer exposure to construction cost inflation. The more expensive alternative would be for taxpayers to fund student population growth through a higher school capital tax levy.
Because the District has completely paid off its debt and has a $19 million capital reserve, it can borrow on historically favorable terms. A portion of the total project cost, $10 million, will be paid from the capital reserve; decreasing the amount borrowed and cost to taxpayers.
If district voters pass the proposed $56 million bond, estimates show that a $639,000 average primary residence would pay $10.27 per month and a business property or second home of the same value would pay $18.68 per month. By voting YES, school district taxpayers make a cost-effective investment in public education, supporting local students and families.