Combined, Bell View and Edgemont elementary schools have more than 115 years of history to look back upon — and now build upon — as they come together to form a new school.
Soon, the Bell View Mustangs and Edgemont Eagles will be known as the Glacier Hills Yetis, a cool name for an even cooler school. Architectural renderings are taking shape in icy hues of blue and white, and with the frozen ground thawing, plans are underway to mark the start of construction with a ceremonial turning of dirt.
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, in-person attendance at the Glacier Hills groundbreaking will be by invitation only. But the event will be broadcast live on CSDTV for all students, teachers, parents and members of the community to enjoy starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31.
The new school, to be built on the Edgemont property, is made possible by a $283 million, tax-rate-neutral bond approved by Canyons voters in 2017. Construction will start over Spring Recess with an expected opening date of August 2022.
Both Bell View and Edgemont, located within less than one mile of each other, currently rank as two of Canyons District’s oldest school buildings dating back to 1966 and 1958, respectively. School leaders had a list of wished-for improvements as they met with Julie Winfree who has been overseeing the construction of Glacier Hills and will serve as its principal when it opens. Seismic stability, efficient heating and cooling, and classrooms wired for today’s technology were among their top priorities.
But what stands out for Winfree as she’s worked with MHTN Architects is their ability to bring the new Glacier Hills identity to life. From the use of rippled textures that resemble ancient ice as it bends and flows over bedrock, to sun-dappled open spaces with high ceilings, and classroom wings cloaked in the timeless blues, purples and teals of the aurora borealis, “they took the idea of Glacier Hills and just ran with it,” she says.
The two-story building will have separate parent and bus drop-off zones, ample parking, and 35 classroom spaces. Visitors will be ushered through a secure vestibule where they check in at the Main Office.
The hallways of each classroom wing, Winfree says, are built-in collaborative spaces where teachers and classroom aides can do targeted instruction with small groups of students. Inside the cafeteria is a stage that doubles as a theater classroom for arts specialists.
To give Hogan & Associates Construction the space they need to quickly complete the project with minimal disruption to students, Edgemont will temporarily relocate to Canyons District’s Crescent Building. In preparation for the move, the school has planned a host of activities, from allowing students to write farewell messages and prepare video messages to creating art pieces honoring the school’s history.
Edgemont Principal Michelle Snarr and Bell View Principal Chanci Loran agree that, while saying goodbye to cherished memories can be hard, their two school communities look forward to unifying to create new traditions.
“The new school will be absolutely beautiful, a true source of pride for the surrounding neighborhoods,” Snarr says. Chimed Loran, “It’s a great day to be a Yeti!”