As part of the new development that is going on at Silver Creek (the 1200 units being put in by Home Depot), the developer was required to build a school. At face value, that sounds like a good deal and probably made sense in someone’s mind when the agreement was being made. I can hear the statement, “wouldn’t it be great to have a school for the children who live in this development?”
Yet, we are now in 2015 and the reality has come home to roost. The development agreement originally gave 2.5 acres for a school and 2.5 acres for recreation. The County Council, recognizing that 2.5 acres was too small for a school, was able to work with the developer to use the entire 5 acres for the school (the land has to be used as a school). Yesterday in a meeting, school board member Moe Hickey ran the numbers and calculated that this would be big enough to hold about 350 elementary school students. Yet there could be as many as twice that many students (maybe more) in the development due to a number of factors. Also keep in mind this school is in the South Summit School District. So, how is that going to work if half the elementary school students go to the new Silver Summit school and the rest go to… Kamas or Heber?
Now they are contemplating whether the new school could me a charter school. It’s frankly a mess.
It’s also a cautionary tale. I’m sure that the school sounded good years ago and the concept was probably hard to argue with. Yet, now we are left with what seems a wasted development. Five acres of open space, or off leash dog park, or sports fields, or almost anything is probably preferable to what will likely happen.
I hope today we are smarter with our planning, agreements, and foresight so that in 2025 we aren’t wondering how we all collectively could have been so short sighted.