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Board Of Education To Review Costs Of Master Plan Projects Soon

MHTN Architects

Bond Architect’s MHTN will have cost estimates to the Park City Board of Education by May, or June, at the latest. Moving ninth grade back to the high school remains a top priority for the school district. A multitude of considerations will drive a final school board decision regarding the design, project phasing and how much they’re willing to spend.

The facility changes that are being considered are part of a long- term phasing project and the architects who are working on the cost details have narrowed options to three overarching designs.  Those drawings can be found on the pcschools.us website. Moving 8th grade to Ecker Hill to create a 6th through 8th school is part of the plan. Adding 4-Pre-K classes for each elementary school is also in the proposal. 

MHTN Architect and Project Manager Scot Later says the changes will be phased in over 10 to 15 years. He says they’re considering the current financial market as they make their recommendations to the board of education.

A preferred option for the high school expansion would require the demolition of McPolin Elementary.

“We are exploring a number of different options for McPolin, in particular whether that's an addition or a future relocation of that building. Yes, there could be an expansion to that eastern edge [of the high school] but it could be more tucked in closer to the building to allow for McPolin to remain. So, we're still in the early process of developing those schemes for the high school. One recent development that we're working through right now is how we can begin to absorb the Learning Center into the high school program.”

Later says their design options also take the traffic congestion on Kearns Boulevard into consideration by adding more efficient circulation behind the high school campus.

He says they’re working with administrators to identify underutilized space at the high school before recommending additional square footage for other programs like PC Caps and CTE.

“Providing the facilities that would accommodate that awesome program. Start to look at the other avenues that would even bring in programs that are currently bussed out to Heber and adding those facilities on site so that you have a complete holistic high school education right on the Park City side.”

The phasing may include using the Treasure Mountain Jr. High facility to temporarily house students instead of bringing portables on site during construction. Later says they’re waiting for the board of education to rank the list of master planning priorities. He says the board is exploring different funding mechanisms.

“As we present information back to them, we're making sure that they have the full picture of possibilities potentially even exploring outside funding sources that could look at a way of getting the ball moving on this first phase work, but not necessarily locking you into a formal bond campaign.”

The plans show the changes in educational trends. The learning studio is replacing the classroom where collaboration can be accommodated, and the space can be reconfigured as needed. A Cafetorium is a multi-purpose room as a place to bring a neighborhood together.

“After school, it could be a place for community events. It really becomes a multi swing space within the neighborhood. We really see elementary schools as the heart of a community and by allowing places to congregate and visit and socialize, it really becomes a neighborhood center for the building.”

Cost estimates for all the options will be available by the June board meeting.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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