It’s a different kind of year, which calls for a different kind of ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Midvalley Elementary.
The Jr. Huskies have planned two ways for families, neighbors, teachers and staff to herald the start of a new school year in a new school building:
- On Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m., the community is invited to hop in their cars and trucks and take part in a rolling back-to-school parade through the school’s new bus drop-off. Students and parents will get a chance to wave hello to their teachers from the safe distance of their vehicles, pick up a commemorative brick from the old school building, and tune their radios to 91.7 FM for some foot-tapping music and announcements.
- Prior to the parade, at 6 p.m., the Canyons Board of Education will host a virtual ribbon cutting featuring a video tour of the building to be broadcast live, and made available for later viewing, on CSD’s YouTube channel.
“Our faculty and staff miss the students dearly and are really looking forward to this,” says Principal Tamra Baker. “We can’t wait to see the looks on the students’ faces when they see the new building.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed complications for construction crews as they’ve adjusted to changing health guidelines while working to finish the project in time for the start of school. It’s altered reopening events, and posed a hardship for families who haven’t seen the campus since last spring when Utah schools were dismissed and will return this fall without having had a chance to tour the new building or check out their classrooms.
“But it hasn’t dampened our spirits,” Baker says. “We Jr. Huskies are a resilient bunch and I couldn’t be more grateful for the enduring support of our parents and the can-do attitude of our students and staff.”
Built in 1957, Midvalley is the fifth Midvale-area school to be rebuilt with proceeds from two voter-approved bonds since the inception of Canyons District on July 1, 2009. The new building is seismically safe, more energy-efficient, and better able to support today’s teaching technologies.
To keep spending in check, architects modeled its design after other elementary schools in the area. But no detail was overlooked. “What really sets this building apart are its high ceilings and unique use of light. There is natural light in every single classroom here, in the hallways and some of the core spaces,” says the lead architect Tiffin West from NJRA Architects.
Though construction crews encountered challenges, Rasty Snow, Project Manager for Bud Mahas Construction, says, “Since we started building in April 2019, it’s been nothing but helpful hands and excitement, and just people anxious to help and willing to do whatever it takes to make this project be a success.”
One benefit of the timing, is the new building will have a security vestibule to funnel all visitors through the Main Office where — for, the time being — they will undergo temperature checks. Materials used in its construction are built to withstand frequent cleanings, and the building’s larger size also will make it easier to observe physical distancing recommendations.
“My hope for when these students and their families come back to the school,” says West, “is the building will be more functional for them, that it will be a breath of fresh air.”