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The Bronze Bobcat Hunt

May 05, 2016 11:53AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Cassandra Goff | cassandra@mycityjournals.com

Cottonwood Heights - Butler Elementary is in the process of constructing a new school that is expected to be open for the 2016-2017 school year. The old building will be demolished as soon as the new building is completed. A resident group called “Friends of Butler” is fundraising for the purchase of a statue, designed to look like the school’s mascot, a bobcat. The finished color of the statue will be a bronze color so it is referred to as the bronze bobcat. Once completed, he will find a home at the new building. 

Friends of Butler is comprised of “old and new friends of Butler Elementary,” including Debbie Tyler, Cottonwood Heights Parks and Recreation Service, Board of Trustees elected candidate for District 3; Mike Peterson, Cottonwood Heights Councilman for District 3; along with Cottonwood Heights residents who previously attended Butler Elementary and/or have children attending the school, Eric Jensen, Lisa Devashrayee, Kelly Guymon, Brenda Eichers, and Nalene Dunkley.

“The bobcat has been the Butler Elementary mascot of over 20 years and it represents a proud tradition for thousands of young people who have walked its halls,” Friends of Butler Elementary representatives said. 

The bronze statue will be a “true-to-life” representation of the bobcat. Many statue designs were submitted for consideration to the school. Students and their parents voted for their favorite designs at the fall parent teacher conferences. 

“It was amazing to feel the enthusiasm and interest of the students as they cast their ballots,” an organizer from Friends of Butler said.  

The winning vote was cast for a design proposed by David Jackson, Utah artist. He will work on the statue at his studio in Mountain Green, Utah.

The bronze bobcat is estimated to cost $12,000. In order to reach this estimated goal, donations are needed from the community. So far, $6,000 has been raised, so about half of the estimated cost is still needed. Donations are funneled through the Canyons Education Foundation, which allows the donated money to be tax deductible.   

Any extra accumulated funds from the donations will be aimed towards purchasing new school supplies for the students. 

“Friends of Butler” hopes to receive the needed money before the beginning of the school year. They wish to have the bobcat home “for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony planned for the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.”

“Friends of Butler Elementary” has a Facebook page where the community can find more information about the project. A running thermometer can be found on the cover picture of the page where the community can see how many funds have already been raised and how much is still needed. Pictures of the old and new building can be found in the albums on this page.  Pictures of previous Butler Elementary classes, dating back all the way to Mrs. Hill’s class in 1918, are also available in the photo albums. The page is found at this address: www.facebook.com/ButlerBobcatFriends.  

Any additional questions or comments can be sent to the Friends of Butler email at FriendsofButlerElem@gmail.com. 

Donations can be sent directly to the Canyons Education Foundation, or instantly through the web page, www.gofundme.com/bronzebobcat. Currently, donations from this page have been contributed by 14 people within two months. The running total for this page is $450 and does not include donations from the Canyons Education Foundation. Donations directly to the foundation have an estimated total of $5550. 

The Butler Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is hosting an open house in the evening of May 24th. This will be the last opportunity for residents to say goodbye to the old Butler Elementary school building before the demolition.  

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