Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 14, 2021
New high school opening delayed

Supply chain delays have delayed the opening of Tooele County School District’s new high school.

Originally slated for opening in August 2024 with the start of the new school year, representatives from VCBO Architecture and Hughes Construction told the Tooele County School Board during the school board’s Aug. 24 work session that unprecedented delays in materials will push back completion of Deseret Peak High School to approximately March 2025.

With that kind of time frame for opening, school officials decided that holding off opening the school until August 2025 made more sense than trying to open a new high school with new boundaries mid-year.

Tooele County School District Superintendent Scott Rogers, expressed concern about what the delay would mean for students and overcrowding. 

Contractors explained that the delay is beyond anyone’s control. Several tactics are being used to get out in front of these issues, but it will still not be enough to meet the original planned open date.

The issues with materials for the construction of Deseret Peak High School are not specific to this project but are nation-wide. Construction projects are facing supply chain disruptions for building materials, low availability of tradesmen, truck drivers, and general labor, and rising costs of construction due to the saturated construction market with high demand for new buildings, according to VCBO and Hughes.

One contractor’s representative told the school board that steel joist and decking material that has never taken more than six weeks to receive is now taking 14 months to arrive. 

Other materials have been delayed from a usual two months to between three and seven months.

Cement and fly ash is in such short supply that smaller pours have been forced.

The good news is that design changes have kept the costs within the original budget framework, according to designers, for now, according to the building’s designers.

However, Twenty Wells Elementary School is currently on schedule — in time for an August 2022 opening — and it is expected to be completed within budget, according to the school district.

The school building will start taking shape soon with block walls going up soon.

Twenty Wells Elementary is a repeat design so the school district was able to begin construction soon after the bond was approved. This allowed them to avoid some of the delays they are experiencing with the construction of Deseret Peak High School. 

This is subject to change, but, as of right now, everything is still on schedule for Twenty Wells Elementary, according to the Tooele County School District.

 

Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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