Two public input meetings were held by the Park City School District Master Planning Committee last week. About 10 people came to the meeting at the high school on Wednesday and fewer than that showed up at Ecker Hill the following evening.
In 2015, the Park City School District embarked on a comprehensive master planning effort. The recommendation from that effort was to bond for $56 million-dollars to build new and expanded facilities. It failed at the ballot box.
Attempting to get more public input on the master planning process this time around, the steering committee and consultants, GSBS Architects, hosted a meeting at Park City High School on Wednesday evening and another at Ecker Hill on Thursday.
The master planning steering commitee has been meeting since last fall. Since then, five areas have been identified as critical. Jodey Fey is a parent who sits on the steering committee. The purpose of last week's meetings was to get input on the five critical priorities.
“We have one [priority] that is school and class size. One that is school location. One that is Kearns campus. One that is Treasure Mountain. And, that is, what do we want to do with that building in that location and one that is grade alignment. And, it is set up in a waterfall fashion so as one task force finishes, that information gets passed on to the next.”
Fey is disappointed with how few people showed up for the public input meeting held on Wednesday at the high school. However, she says about 30 people showed up for a grade realignment task force meeting held in February.
“There’s a conversation, do we want to keep the pre-schools in the elementary school. Do we want to add sixth grade back into the elementary school? Do we want to pull fifth grade out of the elementary school? Do we want to make Excker a six, seven, eight, or do we want to make Ecker a seven, eight? Do we want to keep Treasure as it is or, do we want the ninth graders over at the high school? It’s a hot topic amongst the community.”
Shannon Schimmer attends school board meetings regularly and was part of the 2015 master planning committee.
“We have three kids. One has already graduated from the district, first year of college. Second one is a tenth grader and the third one is an eighth grader. So, for us, we’ve been living this journey. We’ve been in the town for 17 years. We were part of the master planning process in 2015. And, we’re just seeing where are we coming at it from different angles? What are we covering that we didn’t cover or how are we covering it in a different light, different perspective, different lens? For us, our interest is a little bit more tied to Treasure and the High School.”
Glen Schimmer says the public meetings are a chance for parents of younger children to help shape their kid’s education. The Schimmers don’t think the master planning implementation will happen in time for their kids to be impacted.
“Invariably, people are critical without having been involved”
“What are your thoughts about how many parents are actually here tonight?
GSBS Planner, Clio Reyner says she wishes more people were coming out to the public input meetings. There are at least seven meetings scheduled in March, as part of the district's listening tour.
“And, then we’ll present those options, all of those options to the board and the community and get feedback on all the options. And, so, that’ll happen about mid-April when all the options come out. And, then we’ll have about a month of feedback from the community, from the board, everybody who we can convince to give us feedback. And, we’ll come back to the board with the preferred recommendation in May.”
The Park City School District is in the final months of its master planning exercise and public input is wanted before final recommendations are made to the Board of Education.
For those who having something to say, you can email your comments to any member of the Steering Committee. Their contact information can be found on the school district website here.
March meeting details can also be found on the website.