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More Park City school construction projects on hold until state issues go-ahead

Construction at Park City High School, which began early in July, came to a halt Aug. 18 until the school district gets a project number from the state for the work.
Construction at Park City High School, which began early in July, came to a halt Aug. 18 until the school district gets a project number from the state for the work.

The Park City School District is under another work stoppage this week; work at the high school and McPolin elementary is now on hold until the district gets its paperwork in order.

School construction within Park City limits is governed by both the city and the state. The Utah State Board of Education, or USBE, issues what are called project numbers before school districts can begin construction work.

Demolition started at Park City High School at the beginning of July – without a project number. The state found out about that this week, and called the district. In response, Park City schools superintendent Jill Gildea said the district would stop work until it provides the state what it needs to issue a project number.

The school district sent some required forms to the state Friday. It still needs to provide building and energy code reviews, a state fire marshal review, a Summit County Health Department review, a storm water permit and proof of coordination with Park City.

Scott Jones is deputy superintendent in charge of operations for the USBE. According to Jones, Gildea told state schools superintendent Sydnee Dickson this week that required documents weren’t submitted to the state due to a paperwork backlog within Park City Municipal.

“She cited some kind of backlogged paper documentation of what we still need to issue the project number. And we're trying to confirm this," Jones said. "Apparently all of that is subject to backlogs at the city level and that's why this management company from Park City School District or that works for them, JD Stevens, hasn't sent all the documentation we need.”

Dickson declined to comment. Park City Municipal told KPCW Friday it does not have any backlog of construction paperwork awaiting approval.

The school district did not respond to a request for comment about the work stoppage or the claim that it was waiting on City Hall for paperwork.

Jones said regardless of any paperwork problems, construction should not have started.

“I'm just still stunned by how hard this seems to be when it's really not. I mean, we do this all the time," he said. "I honestly don't know where it broke down. I don't know. I don't know why, why they would have started when they know better. You know, having done this for years where they know better that they shouldn't start any construction without a state project number, and that's why I'm waiting to hear back from Mr. Tanner. Like, how could you even started anything without…anything? They didn't even have a state and fire marshal certification. We're just stunned. None of this makes sense.”

Jones said Park City school district Business Administrator Todd Hauber told him Thursday that chief operating officer Mike Tanner is in charge of the project on the district’s end. Jones then called Tanner; at time of this report’s publication had not heard back from him.

Separately, a stop work order from Summit County remains in place at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School. It was issued a month ago.

The county stopped that work because it said the district doesn’t have the necessary conditional use permit.

Next week, the school district will go before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission to seek a permit to resume work at Jeremy Ranch.

Lawyers for the district, the county, and contractor Hughes Construction have been working to resolve the district’s claim that it is not subject to county requirements for a conditional use permit for construction at Jeremy Ranch and Ecker Hill Middle School.