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PCSD needs $79 million bond plus another $50 million to pay for all six school projects

Park City High School
Park City High School

On November 2, Park City School District taxpayers will decide on a $79.2 million school bond. What will the bond pay for and what happens if it doesn’t pass?

The school district plans to expand Park City High School to handle an additional 400 ninth graders, move 8th grade to Ecker Hill Middle School and provide universal Pre-K at the elementary schools. That will cost about $130 million. If the $79.2 million school bond passes, it will help pay for some of the projects.

Park City School Board Vice President Wendy Crossland said a variety of financing mechanisms will be needed to meet the district’s goals.

"The entire process master planning will be happening simultaneously. The funding structure is different. So, the bond for the 70 million is allocated towards the high school, McPolin, and Jeremy Ranch, and the other funding will come from different sources and will not be the responsibility of taxpayers."   

Park City School District Business Administrator Todd Hauber said the bond is a taxpayer question and will cost residents about $100 a year on a $950,000 primary home. Second homes and commercial properties of the same value will pay $150 a year.

"The additional $50 million to support the projects at Ecker Hill and the two of the elementary schools can come from other sources. So, we have philanthropic interests that have put pledges forward, and we can use that as seed money to garner other monies from granting foundations. Or we can use existing revenues to support other debt instruments."

Hauber said the district has $14 million in capital reserves. A private donor has pledged $2 million. If the projects are shovel-ready, he said additional federal grants could be accessed, along with traditional school district financing through bank loans.

Design and build contracts are in place for the high school and Ecker Hill. Hauber said once the bond passes, they're ready to break ground in April.

Hauber said if the bond fails, they'll go back to the community for input.

"We would continue those conversations that we've had all along, to work with the community to find out what needs to be right-sized. What did we miss? What needs to be included? How do we move these projects forward?"

The district hasn’t determined a future use for the Treasure Mountain Junior High School, but Hauber said students will remain in the building until 2024 when the construction projects finish.

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.