Argument for $150,000,000 Bonds of Wasatch County School District
Wasatch County is the third fastest growing county in the U.S. Student population continues to increase at an alarming rate. Wasatch High School had 1,300 students upon opening in 2009. That building was designed for 1,500 to 1,800 students. In 2019, school began with almost 2,400 students. Hundreds of students are overflowing each period into the Wasatch West Campus, formerly Timpanogos Intermediate School. While this provides classroom space, the infrastructure of the school, the hallways, the commons area, the auditorium, and parking lots were not designed for such a large population. The district’s goal of maintaining student centered activities and education becomes more difficult when students get lost in the crowd. This growth will continue, as demographers forecast 10,000 new homes being built in the next decade.
Midway Elementary was built in 1975 for 300 students. Over the past 45 years, the district has remodeled and added on to try to keep up with rapid growth. However, the building itself now provides challenges to maintaining an environment conducive to a progressive, safe, and challenging education.
As is true throughout the valley, growth in Midway has skyrocketed. Midway has 8 portable classrooms and will need to add more as student population grows. While the school district will always use portable classrooms to provide flexible space during times of growth, it is the philosophy of the district to minimize the use of portable classrooms as much as possible. The past additions to Midway have provided temporary relief, but the facility falls short of providing a strong, safe educational environment. Some classrooms and offices are, in reality, storage areas and closets. This bond would provide the elementary students in Midway the same safe, educationally well-designed facility as other elementary schools in Wasatch County, and would provide room for the growing Midway population. This school would be built using the same design as Daniels Canyon Elementary.
Wasatch County School District desires to maintain smaller high school populations, and to provide appropriate and safe neighborhood elementary schools. Adding an additional high school to the district will enable students to experience the safety and supportive environment that has been a hallmark of Wasatch High School. Two schools mean twice as many opportunities to participate in programs such as Sterling Scholars, the school play, student leadership, as well as athletics and other activities and will create smaller, more closely-knit populations. Large schools create an anonymous environment where students can be lost in the crowd. Wasatch County School District believes maintaining moderately sized high schools is one of their most important responsibilities.
Providing safe, high quality, neighborhood elementary schools and keeping high school populations at a moderate level, are critical to the educational programs of Wasatch County School District. A “Yes” vote for the school bond will allow the children in Wasatch County to continue to attend school in facilities designed to provide the safest environment with the highest quality education possible.
(No argument against the bonds was received by the statutory deadline)
A public meeting will be held on October 24, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at 101 East 200 North, Heber City, Utah to hear the argument.
Board of Education of Wasatch County School District