A new era of great heights is on the horizon for the Alta High Hawks. 

A groundbreaking celebration to cheer the start of work on a major two-year renovation at Alta High will be Thursday, June 7. All Alta students, teachers, parents, volunteers, alumni, and boosters are invited to the 5:30 p.m. reception and 6 p.m. ceremony at the school, 11055 S. 1000 East. 

No time has been wasted starting on the major renovation project, which is funded by the $283 million bond voters approved in November. Construction crews have already started site work on the northwest corner of campus where a 1,400-seat performing arts center will be built. By January 2020, the state-of-the-art center is scheduled to be complete and ready for productions.

Crews also will soon begin work on the Hawk Fieldhouse immediately north of the football stadium. By next summer, Alta students in activities ranging from football to marching band will be able to practice on an turf-covered indoor field. The second-level gallery of the fieldhouse, which will have a 30-foot ceiling, also will feature windows facing the football field so guests can watch Friday Night Lights action out of the chilly fall air.

In additionl to the new performing arts center, the remodel also calls for the construction of a black box theater where the current auditorium is located. Among other upgrades, several offices will be relocated, the ceiling in the commons area will be raised to about 35 feet, and windows will be added on the front of the building and throughout the entrance to bring in an abundance of natural light. A security vestibule will guide visitors to the Main Office before they can gain access to the hallways. 

A new red, grey and glass façade on the front of the performing arts center will be replicated along the front of the current building, adding to the school’s curb appeal. In addition, a new marquee and electronic sign will be placed at the corner of 11000 South and 100 East to inform the community about Alta High events and student accomplishments. 

The renovation project is being designed by VCBO Architecture. The general contractor is Hughes Construction.
With better insulating materials and sustainable building products, today’s schools are more energy efficient than those built 50, or even 20, years ago, which translates to lower energy bills and an immediate cost savings for taxpayers.

As schools and school districts grow larger, however, to meet demands of growing student populations, those energy gains can be quickly wiped out. Yet Canyons District has managed to reduce its carbon footprint by 39 percent over the past eight years — even with the addition of 1 million square feet of new construction.

Since Canyons’ inception, the District has worked to address the life safety and technological deficiencies of the aging stock of buildings it received from a previous school district while also planning for growth. Among 13 major school improvement projects financed with proceeds from a bond approved by voters in 2010 were the construction of the first high school and middle school in Draper.

Yet, even with these new buildings and the added burden of having to power modern teaching tools, CSD’s conservation efforts have reduced carbon emissions by 39 percent since 2009. That’s the equivalent of taking 1,473 cars off the road per year, says Chris Eppler, CSD’s Energy Conservation Specialist.

The energy savings is partially due to a push to place mechanical systems in unoccupied mode when schools aren’t being used, while the rest is tied to heating, cooling and lighting upgrades, Eppler says. “It really comes down to doing things right. If you repair, build and operate schools correctly with an attention to quality, you will reduce energy consumption while keeping classrooms more comfortable.”

For his environmental stewardship, Eppler has received numerous awards, including being named an Energy Pioneer by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. His conservation efforts have not only saved money but have resulted in better learning environments for thousands of children.

Among other steps CSD has taken over the years to cultivate healthy schools:

WATER USAGE: Canyons is doing its part to curb water usage; the district has about 370 acres of turf to maintain. With a $15,000 grant from the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, CSD hired and trained students to help survey, monitor and adjust school water schedules based on the root zone, type of grass, shade, soil type and evaporation rate. In July 2014, the district used 16.5 million gallons less than in July 2012 and 9.5 million gallons less than in July 2013. 

RADON TESTING: The District was recently honored by the Utah Division of Environmental Quality for its radon-testing program. CSD is the only district in Utah that regularly tests schools for radon with all buildings tested at least every two years.

NO IDLING: On Earth Day, 2016 Canyons became the first school district in Utah to go idle free at all of its campuses. The campaign kicked off early in the morning at Ridgecrest elementary school where no-idling signs were installed and students greeted drivers with placards, informational pamphlets and window clings to place in vehicles. Eventually, signs were placed at all Canyons schools and no-idling pledges were sent home with students, encouraging parents to voluntarily pledge to “turn their key and be idle free.”

The City of Midvale has officially expressed support for a school improvement bond that Canyons District is asking voters to consider on Election Day.

“The City Council feels it is in the best interests of the City and its residents to support the Bond Proposal,” which would generate funds without raising taxes to “rebuild and remodel several schools as well as install windows and skylights for natural lighting at several more schools,” reads a resolution approved by the Midvale City Council on Sept. 19. The resolution was signed by all five council members and Mayor JoAnn Seghini.

Canyons District has made strides toward addressing $650 million in repair and safety upgrade needs inherited from a predecessor school district in 2009. Next fall’s completion of the remodel of Indian Hills Middle will be the 13th and final project promised to voters as part of a 2010 bond. Passing a second bond would allow the District to improve and modernize an additional 27 schools benefitting 17,000 children, while adequately planning for growth.

A detailed list of the improvement projects that would be made possible by the bond can be found on CSD’s website.



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The recognized parent group for Canyons’ schools has endorsed the District’s $283 million tax-rate-neutral bond proposal that voters are being asked to consider this Election Day. 

The Board of the Canyons’ Region 17 PTA, which encompasses all Parent-Teacher and Parent-Teacher-Student Associations within the District, voted Tuesday, Sept 12 to publicly support the measure, which would generate funds to build and renovate schools. 

The endorsement reflects the trust and support that Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, Draper, Midvale and Alta families have placed in our schools, teachers and staff, said CSD Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe. “We are fortunate to live in a forward-thinking community that puts children first and that values education.”

Canyons District has made strides toward addressing $650 million in repair and safety upgrade needs inherited from a predecessor school district in 2009. Next fall’s completion of the remodel of Indian Hills Middle will be the 13th and final project promised to voters as part of a 2010 bond. Passing a second bond would allow the District to improve and modernize an additional 27 schools benefitting 17,000 children.

“The success of our children is directly linked to the success of our schools. All Canyons District students deserve safe and healthy learning environments wired for the demands of today’s high-tech educational standards,” said PTA Region 17 Director Tonya Rhodes said. “The Board of Education has wisely committed to turn dirt in every corner of the District while focusing on the oldest schools with the highest-priority safety needs, and they’re designing the bond so that it won’t raise property taxes. It’s a fiscally-sensible plan that will benefit generations of children to come.”

A detailed list of the improvement projects that would be made possible by the bond can be found on CSD’s website.
As Alta View students looked out of their classroom windows last year, they saw a strange shape taking place in the corner of the field behind the school.

What looked, at first, like a jumble of beams and blocks was no mystery, however. They knew they were watching the creation of the schoolhouse that would replace the Alta View students had attended since 1963.

The new, 700-student capacity school is the 12th in CSD to be rebuilt or renovated as part of an aggressive plan to upgrade and modernize educational facilities in all corners of the District. The school will open to the public for the first time on Thursday, Aug. 17 at a ribbon-cutting event. The ceremony will start promptly at 6 p.m., followed by an open house tour for students, families, faculty and the community.

The new Alta View has a new address: 917 E. Larkspur Dr., in Sandy. It is the second new facility to open this year; on Tuesday, Aug. 8, Midvale Middle debuted to applause from a crowd of hundreds.

The building will feature a security vestibule that will require all visitors to be seen by school staff before they enter the building, a large commons area filled with natural light and a grand staircase leading to second-floor rooms, a media center, activity room and a computer lab. In addition, the building will be equipped with state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems and voice amplification equipment for teachers in the classroom.

With completion of these rebuilds and the remodel underway of Indian Hills Middle, CSD will have fulfilled the $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010. It’s a goal achieved without raising taxes, while maintaining CSD’s AAA bond rating, and in keeping with founding vision of the five communities who, in 2007, voted to turn CSD it into an achievement-oriented district of distinction.
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