217 East 7800 S., Midvale
As the sun sets on Midvalley Elementary’s 60th year, a new dawn arises for the Junior Huskies.
Built in 1957 when a piece of candy cost .5 cents, frisbees were all the rage, and most of the area surrounding the school was farmland, Midvalley now serves a diverse and growing suburban population, and is in need of an upgrade—which it will soon be getting when it’s rebuilt with proceeds from a $283 million, voter-approved bond.
No time is being wasted on the project, the first of four elementary schools to be constructed with the bond funds. NJRA Architects have been busy designing the new, two-story school with input from teachers, students, and patrons. Families and neighboring homeowners were invited to preview the preliminary plans this past week.
The architects intend to use a similar design to that deployed in other communities, which saves taxpayer funds. The plans include large skylights that allow for natural light to reach all floors, technologically-equipped classrooms, a brightly-colored kindergarten playground, and a faculty lounge that opens onto an outdoor courtyard.
Safety is a big factor in the design and great care will be taken to situate the building in such a way as to provide administrators with a clear view of entrances and exits while also making it easy for emergency responders to access the campus. The new school will have a security vestibule that will require all visitors to be seen by school staff before they enter the building. 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.
The building will be built on the southeastern edge of the campus so as to minimize disruptions for students and allow them to stay in the existing school building during construction.
Crews are anticipated to break ground this coming spring, and the projects is expected to be completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year.
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.
If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added: “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!
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