Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 12, 2019
Public hearing on $190M bond for new schools draws only one speaker

But three more community meetings on proposed bond set for this month 

The Tooele County School Board’s public hearing Tuesday night for its $190 million bond proposal drew one public comment.

The lone comment came from Jill Jones, a teacher at Stansbury High School. Jones said she is also the mother of five students who will graduate from SHS. 

“I am so supportive of this bond, I can hardly stand it,” she said. “Our kids deserve the best. Cramming them or packing them in is already happening. I just believe in our future and our kids are the future. I really really hope that people will be educated about this bond and vote yes and and we can keep up with the growth and make this community even better.”

According to the Tooele County School District’s information on the bond, SHS has an ideal capacity of 1,313 students and its current enrollment is 1,960 students.

Tooele High School can “comfortably” hold 1,371 students. Its current enrollment is 1,870 students, according to the school district’s bond information.

The proposed bond includes $100 million for a new high school in Overlake. The new high school will help relieve overcrowding at SHS and THS, according to the school district’s bond information.

The school district has included $50 million in the proposed bond for a new junior high school in Stansbury Park.

Clarke Johnsen Junior High School currently has 930 students enrolled with an ideal capacity of 825 students. The new junior high school in Stansbury Park would alleviate overcrowding and accommodate growth in Stansbury Park, Erda and Lake Point. Junior high students in these communities currently attend Clarke Johnsen Junior High School.

If it passes, the proposed bond will also be used to build a new $30 million elementary school in Grantsville.

Willow Elementary is currently 30 students over capacity and Grantsville Elementary is 50 students over capacity. The new elementary in Grantsville will help accommodate growth in Grantsville, according to the school district.

In addition to the three new schools, the proposed bond also includes $10 million for security upgrades for existing schools, according to the school district’s bond information.

Alex Buxton, Zions Bank Public Finance, told the school board that by bonding at this time the school district will be able to take advantage of current low interest rates.

Delaying construction would increase costs, according to Steve West, the school district’s operations director. Construction costs are increasing between 5% and 10% per year, he said.

If passed, the monthly property tax impact on the owner of the average home in the county valued at $250,000 would be an additional $10.70. The monthly property tax impact on a business of the same value would be an additional $19.45.

“We are living within our budget,” said school district superintendent Scott Rogers.“The funding we get from the state pays for current operations. Funding for new facilities has always been local property taxes.”

The school district will hold three community meetings on its bond proposal during this month. The community meetings on the school bond will be held on Sept. 16 at Stansbury High School, 5300 Aberdeen Lane in Stansbury in the school’s auditorium; on Sept. 26 at Grantsville High School, 55 E. Cherry Street in Grantsville in the lunchroom; and on Sept. 30 at Tooele High School, 301 W. Vine Street in Tooele in the auditorium. Each meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday night’s public hearing on the proposed bond was held during the school board’s regular meeting in the board meeting room at the school district office.

 

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. He became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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