Canyons School District proposes bond to rebuild schools that are no longer safe

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Canyons School District say the time has come to finally fix some failing schools.

The district says the schools are no longer good—or even safe—places to learn, and a $283 million bond is needed to rebuild, repair and renovate.

For instance, at age 55, Hillcrest High School is starting to show its age. The building cannot withstand an earthquake. The school’s heating and cooling system is failing, and the ceilings have so many holes that rain and even bats can get inside.

“When we walk through the school you will see it was not built for a 21st Century education,” said Jeff Haney, Canyons School District spokesperson. “Often there is only one or two plug outlets, electrical outlets, per classroom.”

The school has several entrances, making it difficult to track who is inside. Many of the walls are curved so school officials can’t see around the corner to find out if a child is in trouble or if an intruder is on the way.

“Safety is a priority at the Canyons School District, so when we build schools we want to make sure what is in the line of sight,” added Haney.

The proposed bond would rebuild seven schools—including Hillcrest and Brighton High Schools—and expand or upgrade 26 other schools.

“We would never buy a home in the condition like this school, so why would we expect our kids to go to school here five days a week,” said Jade Teran, Friends of Canyon School District, an organization that supports the bond.

The new schools would be similar to Corner Canyon High School, which was built in 2013. The school was designed to incorporate technology and has the latest safety features.

Corner Canyon students say the new school is a big improvement over the older school they used to attend.

“Here everything is a lot more technical, so we have a lots of laptops and Chrome notebooks so we can learn a lot and the technology is really helpful, ” said Payton Urich, a Corner Canyon Senior.

“There’s a lot we can do at a new school,” added classmate Kara Damjanovich. “The colors are really bright and there are lots of windows and the old school was really dark and it was really hard to do anything there.”

Kara’s mother likes that the new school has video camera and said she finally feels like her daughter is safe at school.

“It’s a lot safer,” said Jeannie Damjanovich. “The newer schools have windows everywhere. You walk in and there are eyes everywhere you go.”

More information about the bond proposal can be found online here.