Hundreds braved the early evening heat Thursday to celebrate the beginning of construction on a complete rebuild of Brighton High School. Parents, alumni, members of the Cottonwood Heights City Council, Canyons District administrators, Brighton’s High’s principal, teachers and members of Canyons’ Board of Education came to celebrate this milestone for the Bengal community with a ceremonial turning of dirt. collagebhsgroundbreaking.jpg

But most of all, there were students. From the band and cheer squad who performed the school’s Fight Song to the football players who put away the chairs, Brighton’s students filled the air with cheers in eager anticipation for the remake of their campus. “Any decisions we have made about the design of this new school has been with the students in mind,” Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood said. “The physical, emotional and educational welfare of students will always be at the forefront of our decision making.” 

Brighton High is among three CSD high schools to be rebuilt or remodeled starting this summer with funds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017. The bond will also be used to rebuild three other schools and build one new elementary school in west Draper, as well as school improvement projects. 

After opening its doors in 1969, Brighton is fast approaching its 50th birthday — but a lot has changed in 50 years. “When this school was built, the state-of-the-art technology was black and white TVs,” Sherwood said. MHTN Architects and builders from Hogan and Associates Construction will use modern techniques to build a new school that is equipped to educate students in a modern age. 

The new home of the Bengals will be built in phases over three years, starting with construction of a new auditorium, arts and CTE program spaces, where the existing school sits. Throughout the project, workers will be “building a new school on top of the old school, while still having school,” said Canyons Business Administrator Leon Wilcox.

Space is a premium on the campus, and there will be challenges during the build, most notably limited parking. But Wilcox said when the new school is completed, students and employees will have more parking space than they do now.

Other design features include a line of sight down the hallways for administrators and capabilities to lock down classrooms with the push of a button, in case of emergency. The school will have large windows and skylights to bring natural light into the commons area and classrooms, with an emphasis on small-group collaboration. Efforts to preserve elements of Brighton’s history are under way, including circular design elements that harken back to the school’s beloved circular halls.  

Individuals with ideas on the pieces of Brighton’s heritage they would like to save are invited to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their thoughts and contributions. So many people have fond memories of the school, said Canyons Board of Education 2nd Vice President Amber Shill. “My own family is very attached to this place. As the mother of four children who have graduated from here, or who will soon attend here, I feel privileged to take part in its future.”

Over the past half-century, alumni of Brighton have gone on to be accomplished scholars, athletes, government and industry leaders, artists and contributors to their communities. Canyons School District Vice President Nancy Tingey told the crowd she’s confident many more will join them over the coming years. “With the rebuild of the school, future generations of students will build memories here, too. … Whether your children are involved in sports, whether they have an affinity or math or passion for science, they will find in this school a welcoming place to thrive.”

Members of the community came to show support to the new school. Canyons Superintendent Dr. James Briscoe, Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor, as well as members Steve Wrigley, Clareen Arnold, Mont Millerberg, and Shill and Tingey, who represent the Brighton area and feeder schools, were there, as well as Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, Utah School Board member Katherine Riebe and members of the Canyons Education Foundation.

“None of this would be possible without your support,” Shill told the audience gathered at the school. “This is possible because of those who had the vision to create this school district and the voters who showed confidence and trust in the Board of Education. This trust is not taken lightly.”

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  • Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.

    Proposed Draper Interlocal Agreements 

    Under a second reading, the Board considered a proposal to participate in the Draper South Mountain Community Reinvestment Area (CRA). The tax increment financing would facilitate the redevelopment of land once occupied by a gravel pit into an 800,000-square-foot global headquarters for the technology company Pluralsight. The publicly-traded company is projected to bring 2,464 high-paying jobs to Utah over the next 10 years. The plans call for developing transit-oriented and affordable housing and a TRAX stop. After the 20-year project timeline, the District would receive its full share of the taxable value of the property, which is projected to exceed $1.7 million in tax revenue annually. CSD Business Administrator Leon Wilcox recommended adding a circuit-breaker clause to the proposed tax increment financing agreement, which would permit the District to reduce its participation rate from 70 percent to 50 percent projected increases in the taxable value of the project area are not realized within certain deadlines. The proposed agreement also calls for using a portion of collected funds to provide affordable housing for teachers. Pluralsight also has committed to explore workplace training programs benefitting Canyons District students. The Board will continue to discuss the proposal at a future meeting.

    School Safety Communication Plan

    The Board of Education reviewed a proposal to start a communications campaign to inform the community about the safety and security initiatives of the Canyons District. The Office of Public Communications was given approval to start work on the campaign. 

    CSD Anniversary

    The Board of Education provided input on a list of ideas to celebrate the 10th school year and the 10th birthday of Canyons District. 

    Midvale Community Aquatic Center

    Board member Mont Millerberg gave an update on the discussions regarding a possible multi-government agency partnership on a pool in the Midvale area. The pool could be used as the home of the Hillcrest High swim team.

    Recognitions

    The following were honored by the Board of Education for their achievements:
    • Hillcrest High’s Unified Soccer Team, gold medal, Special Olympics

    Responsive Services Update

    Responsive Services Director BJ Weller updated the Board on the changes in his department, which was launched last year to oversee the District’s social-emotional supports for students and the community. In the past year, the department has created a comprehensive school mental-health model, hired 12 additional social-emotional support staff, wrote and received more than $1 million in grants to support the additional counselors and programs. In addition, every elementary received a 25-hour behavior assistant, three social-emotional curriculums were piloted, a case-management team, moved the Canyons Family Center to a more central location, and opened the Canyons Youth Academy. The department also has started a Suicide Prevention Community Group and has responded to dozens of messages submitted through the emergency SafeUT mobile app. 

    Policy Update

    The Board reviewed proposed updates to policies governing student conduct and discipline, personal security and safety, and student conduct and discipline. State law requires the Board to add proposed abusive conduct to the policies.  Some proposed language also outlines how to report assault and abuse against employees.

    Consent Agenda

    The Board of Education approved the minutes from the Board meeting on July 17, 2018; approval of new hires and terminations; purchasing bids; student overnight travel requests; request to move two portables to Jordan Valley for storage purposes; access and maintenance agreement with Layton Construction; and modifications to the Brighton High bell schedule

    Pledge of Allegiance, Reverence

    Canyons Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle led the audience in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.   Human Resources Director Steve Dimond gave the reverence.

    Superintendent’s and Business Administrator Reports

    Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe reported on meeting with Guidance Counselors and Region 17 PTA representatives, and enjoys the feeling of excitement for the coming school year. He looks forward to the Aug. 9 Brighton High groundbreaking and the Aug. 20 ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate completed renovations to Indian Hills Middle.

    Business Administrator Leon Wilcox told the Board that, as of the day of the meeting, 18,700 students who have registered. That means about 54 percent of CSD has registered for classes for the upcoming school year using the online system. Temporary occupancy has been granted at newly renovated Indian Hills Middle, which will be done in time for the Aug. 20 ribbon-cutting and Back-to-School Night. While the kiva and kitchen made not be completely done in time for the start of school, the CSD Nutrition Services Department will ensure food will be served in the cafeteria. Altara’s parking-lot improvements are scheduled to be done by Monday, Aug. 20.  Wilcox also gave updates on other capital facility projects throughout the District, and thanked the Facilities crews for working so hard to get projects done in time for school to start. 

    Board Member Reports

    Mr. Mont Millerberg said he looks forward to celebrating the District’s 10th school year and 10th anniversary.  He also reported on his involvement in the Draper RDA and Midvale aquatics center and rebuild of Hillcrest High

    Mr. Steve Wrigley reported on attending two mission- and vision-statement meetings. He also attended an active-shooter training for school administrators, which he says moved us forward in terms of emergency preparedness. He also had an opportunity to attend the completion ceremonies for students who attended summer academies at Jordan and Hillcrest high schools.

    Mrs. Amber Shill was able to participate in the Butler Days Parade in Cottonwood Heights. She looks forward to Brighton High’s Aug. 9 groundbreaking, and says it’s exciting to see the plans take shape. She was asked to speak at the Cottonwood Heights Youth Council about public service.

    Mrs. Nancy Tingey remarked on also participating in the active-shooter training, the Husky Strong Summer Academy. She says the vision and mission committee is prepared to bring some ideas and full progress report the Board.

    Mrs. Clareen Arnold expressed thanks for employees who worked all summer long to prepare for the upcoming school year.

    Mr. Chad Iverson toured the newly remodeled Indian Hills with his family and watched the Alta High marching band at various parades.

    President Sherril Taylor thanked a Sandy Police Officer for attending the Board meeting. The start of the school year is really exciting, he said, and it doesn’t come together without a lot of hard work.
    Construction crews are busy working on projects throughout the District, and one more elementary school will soon be joining the list. The Canyons Board of Education voted unanimously on July 17 to begin rebuilding Midvalley Elementary as the first of three elementary schools in the District to be rebuilt. 

    NJRA Architects will be designing the new building, and construction is anticipated to begin in April, 2019. The new school is expected to open for the 2020-2021 school year. As part of a $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017, three elementary schools in Canyons district will be rebuilt and a new elementary school in west Draper will be built. Peruvian Park and a White City school will also be rebuilt. 

    Canyons’ administration proposed choosing Midvalley as the first project because it is the oldest of the three buildings, has ADA issues, needs roof repairs, and will be the easiest to build onsite while students are in school during the 2019-2020 school year. Also, it can help absorb growth in west Midvale. 

    Midvalley originally opened in 1957. According to industry standards, an assessment of the school shows that the cost to repair the building exceeds 68 percent of the cost to replace the building. The new school will be built onsite while students continue to attend the old school.
    Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items.


    Elementary School Rebuild 

    As part of the consent agenda, the Board selected Midvalley Elementary as the first elementary school to be completed with funds from the $283 million bond approved by voters in November. Construction is expected to start during the 2019-2020 school year. The 60-year-old school is the oldest of the buildings that are on the list for reconstruction with funds from the 2017 bond. The school also lacks ADA-compliant restrooms, is not built to seismic standards, has a high Facility Cost Index, and the campus is large enough to simultaneously accommodate construction and school operations in the old building. The Board also approved awarding the design contract to NJRA Architects per the recommendation of a selection committee comprised of District employees and school principals.

     
    Cottonwood Heights CDA 

    The Board approved a request to extend an amended version of the Canyon Centre Community Development Area (CDA) agreement into which the District entered in 2012. The amended agreement removes single-family homes from the CDA and sets a $4.6 million cap on the tax increment. The redevelopment project to add commercial, residential and parking structures to an area at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon was delayed due to the recession and a legal challenge. An independent review found the current assessed valuation of the project’s budget to be reasonable. The review also determined that the use of funds would provide a public benefit, and that participation in the tax increment financing proposal is justified. Projections indicate that by extending the agreement, the District could collect an additional $24 million in property tax revenues.

    Draper City CDA

    The Board considered a proposal to participate in the Draper South Mountain Community Reinvestment Area (CRA). The tax increment financing would facilitate the redevelopment of land once occupied by a gravel pit into an 800,000-square-foot global headquarters for the technology company Pluralsight. The publicly-traded company is projected to bring 2,464 high-paying jobs to Utah over the next 10 years. The plans calls for developing transit-oriented and affordable housing and a TRAX stop. After the 20-year project timeline, the District would receive its full share of the taxable value of the property, which is projected to exceed $1.7 million in tax revenue annually, explained Draper City Manager David Dobbins. The Board will take up the matter at future meetings.


    Public Comment 

    Patron Steve Van Maren requested, and was provided, a copy of the documents shared with Board members during the Board’s June retreat.


    Consent Agenda 

    The Board of Education approved the Consent Agenda, including the minutes from the June 12, 2018 and June 26, 2018 meetings of the Canyons Board of Education; hire and termination reports; purchasing bids; June financial reports; approval of State Treasurer Public Entity Resolution; and approval of Midvalley Elementary School to be rebuilt. Requests for student-overnight travel were pulled from the consent agenda due to an error in some of the forms that were publicly posted. The travel requests will be discussed at a future Board meeting. The Board also postponed discussion of a proposal to reaffirm support for construction of a Midvale City-area pool so as to give the City more time to consider where to locate the facility.  


    Superintendent Report 

    Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe invited the Board to attend an active shooter preparedness training for all school Administrators on Aug. 1.


    Board Member Reports 

    Clareen Arnold shared an idea for working with area Police Departments to enhance their presence on school campuses. She added that she has been receiving feedback from constituents about growing confidence in the Board and District leadership.

    Steve Wrigley had an opportunity to attend a completion ceremony for Jordan High’s AVID Summer Bridge program, which gives entering freshmen a jump on their high school studies.

    Mont Millerberg mentioned that the National Rifle Association has a program to help fund safety training for schools.
    Canyons District’s 3rd annual summer Gathering for Good donation drive is joining forces with one of Utah’s most popular radio stations, Z104 KSOP and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors to collect school supplies for students in need.

    Join us as we take part in the three-day “Tools for School” event. Giving is easy. Just drop off your donations in the south-end parking lot of The Shops at South Town any time between August 7-9, and say hello to Z104 radio personalities Dave and Deb who will be spending three nights at the shopping center in buses.

    Out of town that week? No matter. Any day during business hours, leave your donations in the colorful bins located in the entryways of Canyons District’s Administration buildings.
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