Skip to main content

South Jordan Journal

South Jordan, Elk Ridge Schools Remodeling Provides Fresh Start to New School Year

Oct 04, 2016 05:03PM ● By Julie Slama

South Jordan Middle School students celebrate the pride in their newly remodeled school by wearing school T-shirts with the school logo, “See the Light” which ties into the school’s new lights and windows. (Julie Slama/My City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

When parent Alisha Jones walked into Elk Ridge Middle School this fall with her seventh-grader, she was pleasantly surprised by how the remodeling of the school provided a positive change.

“Just walking into the school it felt more welcome, brighter and spacious,” she said. “Before, the office was small and dingy. It’s going to make a difference in the attitude of the kids. They’re have more pride in their school, and a nice, clean fresh environment will help them learn better.”

Both middle schools were built with the office set back from the entrance toward the center of the school, said Dave Rostrom, Jordan School District director of facility services. South Jordan was built in 1989 and Elk Ridge, five years later.

Before school was out, some teachers cleaned out their classrooms, Boy Scouts helped move items and they completed the year in temporary rooms so construction could begin. 

Then, this summer, while temporarily displacing South Jordan’s office staff to the district auxiliary offices and Elk Ridge’s to Bingham High, both schools had their main offices moved to the front of the schools, adding 2,000 square feet to both buildings. Both schools also received new ceiling tiles, LED lighting and work on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, Rostrom said. 

In addition, he said South Jordan had a new generator installed, and Elk Ridge upgraded technology and wiring and had new audio enhancement installed in the classrooms.

Both projects, under Copper Valley Construction as the general contractor, cost $6.3 million, Rostrom said.

“It was a big project to do in 10 weeks, and we got it done before teachers moved back Aug. 17 for school It will help to improve the safety in the schools by having everyone come through the office,” he said, adding Oquirrh Hills and Joel P. Jensen middle schools in West Jordan were completed last year and two more middle schools, South Hills in Riverton and West Hills in West Jordan, still need to have similar remodels.

Now as people enter into South Jordan, they’ll be greeted by a mural of a snow leopard in the entry hall — or a wapiti or elk — at Elk Ridge.

“We’re proud of our mascot and with it in tile and the fresh coat of paint and school colors, it really refreshes the face of our building,” Elk Ridge Principal Wyatt Bentley said. “I think the change will give our visitors greater customer service where they’ll be greeted and welcomed rather than wander the halls to find the office for help.”

Bentley said where the office used to be located, there now are rooms for dance, theater and a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lab.

Both Bentley, who oversees about 1,145 students, and South Jordan Middle School Assistant Principal Tim Heumann, where there are about 1,350 students, said they’re able to look out of the new office windows to ensure students are in class and on time.

“I’m loving the window, and it’s easier to watch for the safety of our kids,” Heumann said. “And we’ve heard from those new to the school that it’s much easier to find the office to get the help they need.”

In addition to the main office moving, the attendance, registration and counseling offices are now housed in the front of the South Jordan Middle school.

Before the offices moved, the band and choir rooms were situated in the front of the school. With the move, the band program, “which is a big program here,” Heumann said, is now in a smaller room, but there hasn’t been a complaint.

“Our faculty know that this makes our building better and more secure,” he said. “With the LED and natural lighting, it is brighter.” 

Keeping with the improved lighting, South Jordan’s theme this year is “See the Light” and welcomed students back with a Sept. 2 5k or 3k fun run and walk. Every student received a neon shirt with the school theme and top finishers received a medal.

“We wanted a welcome back to school activity to replace our school dance so everyone could participate, be involved and help build school spirit,” Heumann said. “We hope our students know that each of them matter and they can come to talk to teachers and administrators at any time. We’re all here to help one another.”