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Wasatch County School Board launches Future Schools Project

Wasatch County School District
Wasatch County School District

The Wasatch County School District is launching its 10-year master planning project. School bond consultants will guide the district as they prepare for the projected growth of the region.

GSBS Architects will lead the Wasatch County School District Future Schools Project master facility plan. For the first time, and in response to public input, consultants will help define future needs. School Board Marianne Allen said surveys are going out, and the public review process is underway. She said participation is essential.

Marianne B. Allen, Wasatch County School Board
Marianne B. Allen, Wasatch County School Board

So, I would just say anyone who gets a survey from the school district; please fill it out, please do it because those are literally what is guiding the process. We are asking for your voice. We're asking for you to be involved. Please come to the open houses. Please fill out those surveys. We want to hear from you. And we do have a steering committee and advisory committee of community members of local leaders, and we're truly trying to get guidance from our entire county, parents, and non-parents, of what they want to see as education moves forward."

Board member Kimberly Dickerson said the steering committee meets next week. It has invited citizens representing each of the five school board area boundaries to join.

Kimberly Dickerson, Wasatch County School Board
Kimberly Dickerson, Wasatch County School Board

"We actually had different committee members submit requests, and it wasn't just the school board. It was a collaborative effort between the school board and the district. We made sure that there was definitely a diverse group of people thinking from all sides."

A school bond referendum failed in 2019 in Wasatch County. Allen believes hiring experts to help craft a comprehensive master plan will bring more success when they return to the community with a school bond initiative, which they hope will be November 2022. They've hired GSBS Architects and Wilkinson Ferrari public engagement consultants for a cost of about $300,000.

"If this is a 10-to-20-year plan, that's about $30,000 a year. And if I can have all that information up front to lead the board and the district into the next 10-to-20 years, that's money well spent."

Y2 Analytics will do the surveys and compile the data for the board. They've presented feedback from the first county-wide survey, and Allen said they've heard the community's concerns.

"We definitely need to work on building some trust with our community. We had some things that the community definitely wanted to let us know about --fiscal responsibility, transparency, and communication. And we're working on those."

The futureschoolsproject.com website launches on November 3 and includes a voluntary survey and information about the project. The website will share the results of the most recent survey taken. The calendar of events will consist of dates and locations of steering committee meetings. To introduce the public to the project, the school board will host a summit at the Wasatch High School Library from 9 to 3 on November 3.

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.