Officials in South Summit School District see a problem looming in their near future.
Thanks to growing enrollment, the Kamas-based district’s elementary, middle and high school will be well over capacity within the next five years. Officials hope voters will approve a $58.6 million bond to build a new high school, which would help disperse the student body between four schools to better accommodate continued growth.
“The alternative is we add several portable classrooms and likely switch to a year-round school schedule to stagger when students are in the classroom,” said Shad Sorenson, district superintendent of the district.
South Summit’s elementary, middle and high schools are all currently housed on the same 40 acres, which Sorenson said is about 30 acres too small for a three-school campus. The new high school would be located in West Kamas and is projected to open in fall 2020, pending bond approval.
The measure would cost almost $96 annually on a $100,000 property, or about $298 a year on a $310,000 home.
The bond has received some pushback from taxpayers concerned that they’d be paying too much upfront by building a high school. Many voters were instead partial to a proposal to demolish the current elementary school and build two new ones in Francis and Oakley, Sorenson said, which would be slightly less expensive.
But the school board ultimately decided that a larger high school would better address the district’s growth.
South Summit’s bond has been endorsed by the business-backed Utah Taxpayers Association. Billy Hesterman, vice president of the association, said the district has demonstrated an immediate need for a new school and its plans for construction are in keeping with taxpayers’ best interest