As we wrote about in a previous article, Mr Putt goes to School Board, we are surprised and disappointed in how insular our various government agencies are. We have traffic issues. We have environmental issues. We have growth issues. How do we start to fix these things?
Park City Municipal can’t solve these issues on their own. While they are the heart of the Park City area, they only represent 7,000 people out of 22,000 people in the area. Summit County can’t solve these issues on their own. They are in some ways the unwanted step child of Park City. Many people in the Snyderville Basin think they live in Park City, but really don’t, and thus think Summit County has nothing to do with them. The School Board can’t solve these on their own. They generally view their job as providing the best educational experience for our students.
Yet, all three can come together to make measurable impacts when they try. They can also cause significant harm when they don’t realize they are part of the entire ecosystem. Nowhere is this more apparent right now than at Park City School Board Master Planning Committee meetings. This group, responsible for deciding whether to rebuild Treasure Mountain Junior High School (TMJHS), will likely do two things that contribute to more traffic. They will decide to realign grades and rebuild TMJHS on Kearns Blvd. Right now, grades 8th-12th go to school on Kearns. In the new scenario, grades 7th-12th will go to school are Kearns. This will be 400 more students, hundreds of more cars, and a complete disaster between 7AM and 8 AM.
The committee would probably say, “we looked at moving TMJHS to Ecker Hill but traffic there is even worse.” So, this is the only option. But is it? When Summit County Community Development Director Pat Putt asked the Committee about putting TMJHS somewhere else the committee members said they had talked about it but probably not. What they are really saying is there is no choice but the obvious.
We take a different view, and one that we promise isn’t as crazy as it sounds. What should the School District do? We believe they should move the entire Kearns campus. It’s a solution that would need help from Park City Municipal, Summit County, and the School District but that would solve a number of problems and benefit a number of people. We’ll write about our specific plan later today.