Union Middle School opened in 1968, a turbulent time in America’s history marked by the loss of two advocates for peace: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy.
Knowing this, it’s tempting to connect the “Union” name to an appeal for civic unity. In truth, it speaks more directly to a time in Utah history dating back more than 170 years. But it’s the school’s spirit of unity that typifies what it means to be a Bobcat and endures still today, says its Principal Brenda McCann.
“Union will always be a place where students and families with different experiences and beliefs come together and find strength through camaraderie,” McCann said. “That won’t change with the construction of our new school building.”
Crews are working around the clock to put the finishing touches on the new home of the Bobcats in time for the August 2023 start of school. Before then, Union Middle students, staff, alumni, and neighbors are coming together for one last time at their beloved campus for a Closing Celebration and Open House on Tuesday, May 16, 6-8 p.m.
There will be a self-guided tour of the 54-year-old school building, treats, and a display of memorabilia followed by a 7:30 p.m. reveal of the school’s new logo. “We wanted to reflect on fond memories while celebrating our bright future,” McCann said. “The new school is a rebirth of the area and means a ton for the community.”
Union Middle is named for the Fort Union area it serves, a community settled in the mid-1800s, which began, as the name suggests, as a defensive fort inhabited by Mormon pioneers. Now a commercial urban area, the community of Union is at the juncture of three cities: Midvale, Sandy and Cottonwood Heights.
“I always have felt like Union was the perfect name for that school, because it brings together a diverse community. There’s a very accepting inclusive culture there, a real community feeling of cooperation and neighborhood,” said a former Principal Kelly Tauteoli.
Attendees of the Open House and logo reveal will get a sneak peek at some of the features of the new school building, which is being built on the same campus.
The two-story school will sport a large commons area and grand staircase, a banquet room for holding community events, community pantry, all-abilities courtyard and Ninja Warrior-style playground equipment, and fitness center with a running track.
Built with safety in mind, the facility will be seismically up-to-date and have a security vestibule that steers all visitors through the Main Office to be checked in.
The arts wing with its state-of-the-art auditorium and display area for showcasing student artwork will help the school continue to build on its strong arts programs.
“Like yesterday and today, Union Middle will be as source of pride for the community and will serve the community well,” McCann said.