Last night I live blogged the School Board’s Master Planning committee. The live blog was probably a little hard to follow, because so much of what was done was visual. In effect the members of the committee worked in six teams to place cutouts of schools (i.e. the high school, Treasure Mountain, McPolin, etc.) on a map of the Snyderville Basin.
Each group then presented their ideas in front of the committee. These ideas were recorded by the planners and the planners will use the 6 proposals to find common ideas and work their way down to two to three scenarios. Then during the next meeting, the committee will look at those scenarios and put costs alongside them, in order to make a final recommendation.
Of the six groups, five were essentially the same. These groups want to knock down Treasure Mountain, add on to the high school to support 9th graders, build a new district office, leave McPolin where it is, and move the Treasure Mountain School somewhere. These five groups varied on some concepts. Most, but not all, also wanted to build a fieldhouse on Kearns. At least one group wanted to build a PC CAPS building. Some groups wanted to move Treasure Mountain School to a property at Bear Hollow. Other groups wanted to move Treasure Mountain School to the Ecker Hill campus. Most groups wanted to move Dozier field to another spot on Kearns. One group wanted to leave Dozier Field where it is.
The sixth group presented an out of the box idea to move the High School to a spot between Trailside and Round Valley. The discussion around the idea led to further discussions about converting the existing High School in to some sort of arts school. While the group admitted this was presented to just make people think about alternatives, it really does represent the only different idea. Therefore, it is very likely that this idea won’t be in the mix.
So, the proposed outcome is becoming clearer. Here is my best guess of what will happen:
- Tear down Treasure Mountain
- Add on to current High School to support the 9th grade
- Move learning center to north side of High School
- Redo entrance to McPolin so it is easier to access
- Rebuild Treasure Mountain at Bear Hollow
- Rebuild the District office on Kearns
- Move Dozier Field and the baseball diamonds to a new location on Kearns
That means the elementary schools will be Pre-K to 4th. Treasure Mountain at Bear Hollow will be 5th and 6th. Ecker Hill will be 7th and 8th. The high school will be 9th to 12th.
Of course, Treasure Mountain could be built next to Ecker Hill Middle School. I believe the traffic concerns will push them to place the school at Bear Hollow. They may also decide to build a fieldhouse on Kearns. However, I believe they will start to see the total costs of this project add up and it will discourage them from doing so.
So, what will this likely cost? That’s a good question and without specific plans, it’s really a guess. I’m willing to try, though. Rebuilding Treasure Mountain will probably be about $20-$25 million. Adding on to the High School will probably be around $5 million. A new district office will probably be about $3 million. Moving the fields and redoing the entrance to McPolin is probably under a million. Building a new learning center is probably $1-$2 million. The tear down is probably another million or two. Permits and paying to mitigate traffic (which they will likely have to do) are probably another million. So, I would guess we are looking at around $40 million.
If they want to add a fieldhouse, then maybe $45-$50 million. Currently, the school district has about $18 million in the bank. Look for them to use just part of that money (maybe $5 million) on this project. So, we are probably looking at a bond of $30-$35 million.
Then there will also be the costs of “portable classrooms” that can be used while this construction is taking place and outfitting the schools with equipment. That likely will have to come out of the School District’s budget.
The next Master Planning Committee meeting, where a recommendation will be finalized, is May 14th.
It should be an interesting summer.