For years, students have heard that freshmen may be integrated into the high school, but efforts to move freshmen to PCHS have never made a lasting impact. However, that may be changing with a new proposition.
On November 2nd, the community will vote on whether or not to pass a bond proposition. This proposition would give the Park City School District authority to borrow seventy nine million dollars in bonds in order to fund school improvements.
These improvements include expanding the high school to include the freshmen, adding room for eighth-graders at Ecker Hill Middle School (EHMS), demolishing Treasure Mountain Junior High, expanding the career, technology, and education (CTE) program, and additional improvements to various elementary schools.
Bonds are ways to fund government projects by borrowing money from individuals or corporations. Typically large institutional investors bid to buy these bonds, which are then paid back over time with a low interest rate.
The total cost of these improvements is about one hundred twenty-nine million dollars. While some of this is funded by the school district’s capital reserves (saved money or money they can borrow with good credit), they need to borrow seventy-nine million more dollars in bonds.
In order to pay for these bonds, an average primary residence will pay an extra eight dollars and thirty-five cents each month, while a similarly priced business property or second home would pay an extra fifteen dollars and eighteen cents each month. It will be paid off in twenty-one years.
The most expensive proposed improvement is the PCHS expansion, which is predicted to cost over fifty four million dollars. The EHMS addition is the second most expensive, priced at almost thirty two million dollars. The rest of the cost covers the various elementary school renovations, which span from twelve to six million dollars each.
The renovations on the high school will include the addition of an extra wing to accommodate the freshmen, between the current building and Dozier Field.
If the bond proposition is passed, construction on the high school is predicted to start by July 2022 and finish by August 2024.
According to the Park City School District website, the bond proposition is the cheapest way to fund these projects. It went on to say that if the bond proposition is not passed this year, the cost of the projects will increase.
“By voting YES, school district taxpayers make a cost-effective investment in public education, supporting local students and families,” said an argument in favor of the bonds posted to The Future of Learning website. The Future of Learning focuses on improving the Park City School District. “An investment in our buildings is an investment in our students – the faces of our future.”
With this proposition coming soon to voters, freshmen in the school may no longer be a distant possibility, but an upcoming certainty.