Dirt flew at Dugway Proving Ground last Thursday as education and military leaders celebrated the commencement of a new school for the remote west desert military community.
Scott Rogers, Tooele County School District superintendent, served as master of ceremonies for the Dugway High School groundbreaking ceremony held at noon just east of the existing school building in DPG’s English Village.
Groundbreaking activities included remarks from Dugway High School Principal Robin Nielson, Dugway Proving Ground Commander Colonel Ronald Fizer, and Colonel David Kennedy from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment Military Liaison.
“Dugway school will be a 21st century facility, which will enhance the learning atmosphere for students preparing to enter a global marketplace,” Nielson said. “It will be a hub of school and community events and will support the mission of Dugway Proving Ground.”
The DOD Office of Economic Development awarded the school district a $13.2 million grant for the $15.8 million, 71,000-square-foot building.
The remaining $2.6 million in costs will be paid from the school district’s capital outlay fund.
Funding for the building is part of a school district and DOD partnership that started three years ago with a DOD study of school facilities on military installations.
The study determined the existing school, built in 1953, was deficient.
In January 2012 the district was informed by DOD that it had funding available for the DHS project and it would accept a grant application.
The district hired MHTN Architects in Salt Lake City to complete preliminary conceptual work for a new Dugway High School for the grant application.
In November 2013 DOD informed the school district that the grant to replace DHS was approved.
Naylor Wentworth and Lund Architects, a Salt Lake City-based firm, was selected as the project architect and Hughes General Contractors was named as the general contractor.
The building concept includes, along with classrooms and a gym, a cafeteria, a commons area for students, offices for counselors, an auditorium and rooms for special education.
The new building will have a capacity of 300 students, the same as the current building, a requirement of the grant. The building will also hold students from Dugway Elementary School, currently housed in a separate building that was built in 1951.
The two schools have a current enrollment of 154 students.
High school and elementary students will remain separated in different wings of the new building with their own restrooms. They will share access to the commons area, cafeteria, auditorium, media center and gymnasium.
The old high school will be demolished once the new school is completed.
The new building scheduled to open in time for the start of school in the fall of 2015.