The Tooele County School District wants to gather public input before it makes a decision about putting a bond for new schools in front of voters on the November 2019 ballot.
The school district has hired the company Baker Tilly to conduct an independent community survey of 400 registered voters identified as likely voters within the county for the upcoming bond election.
The bond survey results will help determine what the community’s views are and what projects to focus on if the bond is approved, according to Maresa Manzione, Tooele County School District board president.
“We value the relationship we have with our community and want their opinion,” Manzione said. “This survey will give us a better idea of what their concerns are and what building projects they would support as we prepare for future growth.”
The school board will analyze community input as the district moves toward a potential bond in the November 2019 election.
The school board wants feedback on which, if any, of the projects should be put on the referendum and how much of a tax impact residents are willing to support.
A high school in the Tooele area, a junior high in Stansbury, and an elementary in Grantsville have been identified by the school board as the most pressing issues facing the district.
Enrollment reports from the start of school in the fall of 2018 showed Stansbury High School at 142% of ideal capacity and Tooele High School at 137% of ideal capacity.
Clarke N. Johnsen and Tooele Junior High schools were at 100% and 133% of their ideal capacity, respectively, at the start of the 2018 school year.
The school district bought property for a new high school west of the Home Depot store and property for a new junior high school south of Stansbury High School on Bates Canyon Road with funds from bonds approved by voters in 2015.
A site for a new school in Grantsville hasn’t been identified yet.
Other projects under consideration for the potential 2019 bond include school-building security upgrades, replacing grass with artificial turf on high school athletic fields, adding a swimming pool to one of the new school buildings, and expanding the lunch room and adding a welding shop at Stansbury High School.
The potential bond-project options range in cost from $150 million to $190 million.
The 400 potential voters to be polled will be called and asked to take a 10- to 15-minute survey. Participants will be surveyed regarding important issues within the school district and all responses will remain anonymous.
The phone survey will begin April 22. Survey data will be reported publicly to the board during the May school board meeting.
The school district will hold town hall meetings, public hearings, and other events to gather additional public input and answer questions prior to the bond election, according to Marie Denson, Tooele County School District communications director.