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The City Journals

Several schools in city getting updates; new elementary underway

Sep 10, 2020 04:02PM ● By Julie Slama

The new Jordan School District’s elementary school in Daybreak’s Village 8 should have its exterior complete by late fall so interior work can be done during the winter months. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Things may look a little different when Monte Vista, South Jordan, American Academy of Innovation and Bingham High as students return to school—and not just procedures with face coverings and social distancing.

At Monte Vista, construction is finishing on a $2.5 million addition that includes six classrooms, a large collaboration area, a conference room, a teacher prep room and an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restroom. 

The additional 10,000 square feet will help to house older students who have been studying in the school’s 11 portables since Monte Vista, which was built in the 1970s, has about 900 students, more than the capacity for the original building plans, said Dave Rostrom, district facilities services director.

“We’ll likely keep all the portables on site this year, although a couple will be empty,” Rostrom said, adding that they’ll re-evaluate the need for portable classrooms after this school year. “The addition will be a nice space for those in the school.”

The Miners at Bingham High will notice most of phase two of their school’s remodeling will be in the completion state, he said.

That includes updating the Career and Technical Education wing so it “will be built to code,” including renovating the ramp by the auditorium so it will be ADA compliant. 

“It’s too steep. It was built by the building code of 1975, but we’re updating it and adding more lighting—LED lights,” he said.

The upgrades are also to ensure the elevator at the west end of the main hall is ADA compliant, check fire alarms and sprinklers, and update the plumbing by replacing the copper lines.

“Our culinary water was a real issue,” she said. “We have a galvanized water line.” c

A new sidewalk will be installed from the school to the softball field. Some areas were painted and got new flooring or carpeting.

Bingham’s original remodeling plan was to be completed in five phases. With funding a concern with the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans could change.

“It’s all up to the [Jordan] Board [of Education] now if we’ll have five phases in five years,” Rostrom said.

The first phase, which focused on the performing arts area and finished in September 2019, cost about $4 million. Phase two comes in around $9 million, he said.

At South Jordan Elementary, the Rams will see a new shade canopy over their playground in the southeast corner of the campus.

“They’re the last year-round school and students outside in the heat of summer can get hot, so we’re seeing how this works and helps them,” Rostrom said.

At American Academy of Innovation, Director of Technology Robert Warren said, “we’ve dug a lot of dirt, poured a lot of concrete and built a lot of walls” as their four-room addition was getting ready for its final inspection Aug. 10.

“The building really came together well and went very much as planned,” he said about the student-construction project team that oversaw the school’s 3,200-square-foot addition.

Throughout the process, students led the project from researching the idea and creating the proposal to developing plans and presenting it to city officials. They met with architects, got contract bids and even during the soft closure of schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually met, tweaking “small surprises” that showed up in the building process, Warren said.

The $650,000 expansion will house animal science, an engineering lab and two additional classrooms with a folding door that can open into one great room. The construction was completed on budget and on time, Warren said.

“The goal was to have the expansion blend into the original building so someone couldn’t tell it was an addition and they accomplished that remarkably well,” he said.

Another area of the city that has a lot of dirt turned is in the Village 8 development of Daybreak. 

Shortly before the soft closure of schools, Jordan School District celebrated the groundbreaking of a 33-classroom elementary school at 11189 South Willow Walk Drive, west of Mountain View Corridor. 

The new 75,255-square-foot school will follow the same design as Bastian and Golden Fields elementary schools with three classroom wings and two collaborative areas. The total cost should be less than $20 million, Rostrom said.

“There are a few delays with building materials, as factories in Mexico are shut down and with a lot of delays with trucking availability,” he said. “Most of the metal is out of Mexico so that’s some of our biggest delays.”

Even so, Rostrom still projects the school should be ready for a fall 2021 opening. By late fall 2020, he said that the walls and roof should be in place so that this coming winter, crews can work on the building’s interior.

“We’re using lots of skylights, so we have bright daylight in the interior classrooms, and we incorporate bright cheery colors,” Rostrom said. “I’m sure this school will help relieve Bastian Elementary’s enrollment, but the board will be directing those boundary changes.”

The new school capacity is built for 850 students; however, with additional use of building space and six portables, it could reach 1,050 students, he said.

Rostrom said that typically a principal is appointed in January before the school opens to help hire faculty and staff and work with the community on the school name, mascot and school colors.

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