A strong sense of community was a theme at the ceremonial opening of the new Butler Middle School in Cottonwood Heights on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. A crowd of more than 400 students, parents, teachers and patrons in Canyons District gathered to celebrate Butler’s completion and participate in a ribbon-cutting event.
“In my years of experience, I’ve learned a few lessons about how a school can become the heart of a community,” Butler Middle Principal Paula Logan told the crowd, which included such dignitaries as Cottonwood Heights Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Rep. Steve Eliason and Sen. Brian Shiozawa. “As American philosopher John Dewey once said, ‘What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children.’ “
Kim Horiuchi, the Canyons Board of Education member who represents the Butler Middle area, told the audience that strong community support made the project possible. For one thing, the school’s renovations are the direct result of a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010 to build or renovate schools in the District.
For another, thanks to a financial contribution from Cottonwood City, District leaders were able to add a 1,000-seat state-of-the-art auditorium theater to the school, with the potential for it to be enjoyed by the community at large, Horiuchi said. “Today would not be possible without your support,” Horiuchi told the crowd. “We were able to rebuild this school because of your vote of confidence.”
Horiuchi also paid tribute to former Canyons Superintendent Dave Doty. She said that, immediately after being named superintendent, Doty saw the need for improved learning environments. “Dr. Doty tackled this challenge head-on and worked tirelessly to craft a plan that would lead to better schools in all corners of Canyons District,” she said. “This plan is working. With the $250 million bond that was passed on his watch, we’ve been able to do so much. And I believe it’s largely due to Dr. Doty’s foresight and hard work.”
Other features of the school include an expanded cafeteria, kitchen and a spacious commons area; a gymnasium with two full courts; 12 basketball hoops, two large locker rooms, two fitness rooms dedicated to dance and strength training and an elevated indoor running track with a special surface for running; a fully integrated computer suite and media center with green screen TV production studio; and a music suite that includes instrument, band and choir rooms.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Ginger Rhode thanked VCBO Architecture and Hughes General Contractors for designing and building a school that would benefit both the students and the community for years to come.
“We reached out to engage our public every step of the way,” she said.
Students will begin attending Butler Middle, 7530 S. 2700 East, Cottonwood Heights, on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, the first day of the 2013-2014 school year.