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Canyons District Voters Approve $250 Million Bond

Voters in the Canyons School District approved a $250 million, tax-rate-neutral bond on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, according to unofficial results posted by the Salt Lake County Clerk.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting just before midnight Tuesday, the unofficial results showed 12,519 votes, or 50.68 percent, for the issuance of bonds, and 12,184 votes, or 49.32 percent, against the issuance of bonds.

The bond will allow Utah’s first new school district in nearly a century to begin addressing $650 million in school rebuilding and renovation needs, as well as forward District efforts to better prepare students for college and careers.

“We as a Board of Education have looked forward to this day since our first Board meeting two years ago,” Board President Tracy Scott Cowdell said. “We cannot thank our patrons, parents and community leaders enough for giving us the resources we need to properly equip the schools so that they provide a safe and inspiring learning environment for all children in Canyons School District.”

Money from the $250 million bond will be used to rebuild Midvale Elementary, Butler Elementary and an elementary (to be determined) in the White City area; provide seismic upgrades to Sandy Elementary; rebuild Butler, Midvale, and Mount Jordan middle schools; and enclose classrooms and install air-conditioning at Albion, Crescent View and Indian Hills middle schools. It also would be used to upgrade Brighton and Hillcrest high schools and build a new high school in Draper to accommodate ninth-graders as part of the District’s academic plan to ensure all students are career- and college-ready by the time they graduate from high school. Moving ninth-graders into high school would give them the lab and academic supports they need as high school students, and allow middle schools to focus on high-school preparation. The Board approved grade reconfiguration earlier this year.

The bond proposal will not raise the debt service tax rate. In 2003, before Canyons School District was created, voters in the old Jordan School District approved a $281 million bond to upgrade buildings. In 2007, Jordan District’s east-side communities voted to create the Canyons District. Though no longer part of Jordan District, Canyons taxpayers still are required by law to pay a significant portion of the 2003 bond debt until 2022. Canyons has no control over old Jordan District debt or its repayment plan. The $250 million bond is structured to make sure that as those old bond payments start to drop off, the new bond payments would ramp up, holding debt service tax rates steady. In addition, the District anticipates using other available funds to make debt payments on the bonds to maximize borrowing power and negate the impact on the taxpayer.  

The bond’s approval comes at a time of low interest rates and low construction costs, helping to maximize the use of public tax dollars to improve education.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

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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