When Alta High School in Canyons School District was built in 1978, Principal Brian McGill said natural light wasn’t much of a factor in school design.
“The architectural philosophy was no windows or light,” McGill said. “Just keep the students contained and teach them what they need to know.”
But recent research indicates that natural light and open spaces can help improve students moods and attitudes, helping them learn better during the school day, said the principal, himself a 1991 graduate of Alta High.
The Canyon School District’s $283 million bond proposal aims to not only open up the school with more windows but also update and expand it. The bond would also pay for overhauls of Hillcrest and Brighton high schools and Union Middle School and construction of a new elementary school in west Draper.
Because the Canyons bond would be funded by existing debt capacity, its approval would not result in a property tax increase, officials said. But if the bond proposal fails to pass Tuesday, property taxes on a home in the district valued at $373,000 would fall by about $118 annually.
The Canyons proposal has drawn scrutiny in recent weeks, including a complaint filed with state elections officials over mailers sent by the district campaigning for the bond. State law prohibits any public dollars being use to campaign for or against candidates or ballot initiatives.
A separate complaint raised concerns that political issues committee (PIC) formed to support the bond, called Friends of Canyons School District, had not registered with the state before sending out campaign materials.
That issue has since been resolved, a state elections official said, by the PIC filing registration papers.