Decision expected Tuesday on opening Saratoga Springs school after weeks-long delay

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Lake Mountain Middle School in Saratoga Springs was supposed to open on August 20, just in time for the 2019-20 school year.

The opening date for the brand-new school was pushed back to September 10 - a delay of three weeks.

On September 9, Principal Mark Whitaker wrote a message to parents, informing them of yet another delay after the state fire marshal did not grant occupancy.

On Monday, the state fire marshal was back at the school for another round of inspection.

"We are pleased with the initial reports coming from the fire marshal and we are hopeful to have a final determination on a temporary occupancy given to us [Tuesday] afternoon. Of the systems checked today, all are responding well and functioning in a safe manner. The fire marshal said he will return tomorrow to finish up his evaluation," a statement from Alpine School District said.

Whitaker, the school's faculty, parents and students hope they can finally begin to use the new school.

"Our goal is the safety of the children and the staff, obviously. And we're not going to let the building without that assurance that they're going to be safe. So, we're looking at life-saving systems, we're looking at sprinkling systems. There's one chemical system in the kitchen. There's alarm systems and then, of course, the exiting is a key part of what we do," said Ted Black, Chief Deputy Utah State Fire Marshal.

The school could open as early as Wednesday, depending on the outcome of the inspections this week. Meanwhile, students have been using online learning tools and some services from Vista Heights, another middle school in Saratoga Springs.

 

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