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Virtual Groundbreaking to Celebrate the New Peruvian Park Elementary

The Peruvian Park Panthers are getting a new home — and we’re celebrating with a ceremonial turning of dirt!

Families, students, teachers and school staff are invited to participate in a virtual groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on a rebuild of Peruvian Park Elementary at 5:30 on Tuesday, March 30. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, in-person attendance will be by invitation only. But the event will be broadcast live on CSDTV for the entire school community to enjoy.

“With spring nearly here, and the threat of the pandemic receding, we felt the start of this monumental school improvement project called for a community celebration,” said Principal Leslie Jewkes.

The Peruvian Park rebuild is made possible with proceeds from tax-rate-neutral bonds. Construction will begin over Spring Recess with an expected opening date of August 2022.

Originally built in 1964, Peruvian currently ranks as one of Canyons District’s oldest school buildings. Due to its age, and need for seismic improvements, a facilities review determined it to be more cost-effective to rebuild the school than renovate it.

To expedite the construction, students, staff and faculty are temporarily relocating to Canyons District’s Crescent View Building. “Given the size constraints we have on this campus, this is really the least disruptive way to manage the project,” Jewkes said.

In another cost-saving measure, the new school will be based on the designs for Midvalley Elementary, which reopened this fall. “NJRA Architects have done a fantastic job working with our school community to personalize the building functionally and aesthetically,” Jewkes said.

The color scheme for the building reflects the rocky cliffs in nearby Little Cottonwood Canyon. It will sport an extra staircase for more quickly entering and exiting the building, ample parking, and two drop-off and pickup areas: one for families and another for buses. “The parent drive thru is going to be so much more efficient,” Jewkes said.

The two-story steel structure will feature 30 classrooms, all wired for the latest teaching technologies. In addition, two specific classrooms will be dedicated to music and art instruction.

For Jewkes, however, the highlight of the new building, to be built by Hogan Construction, are the large windows and skylights, which allow natural light to fill every corner. “It will be such a light, cheerful learning and working environment for our students and teachers,” she said. “Every brick, classroom, and piece of furniture will be carefully chosen to reflect and carry forward the Panther spirit.”

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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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