Jordan District breaks ground on new elementary in anticipation of student growth
Apr 23, 2020 03:40PM
By Julie Slama
Jordan School District Superintendent Anthony Godfrey stands where the new South Jordan elementary school will be built and is projected to be completed by fall 2021. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Jordan School District Superintendent Anthony Godfrey welcomed those who gathered on a cold, blustery March morning, telling them the district loves to be groundbreaking in everything it does, including breaking ground for a new elementary in South Jordan.
The start of the 33-classroom school comes as Jordan School District prepares for anticipated growth in the Daybreak community. The site for the school, 11189 South Willow Walk Drive, is west of Mountain View Corridor.
“We have huge South Jordan growth, and by building this elementary school, we can stay ahead of the growing population and provide our students with a great learning environment,” Godfrey said. “We review every option before building, including alternative calendars and boundary changes, before deciding a new school is needed.”
Although boundaries aren’t determined yet, anticipation is that the new elementary, which is slated to open in the fall of 2021, will relieve some of the expanding population at Bastian Elementary and possibly Herriman Elementary, he said.
Jordan Board of Education President Bryce Dunford said the 12 acres is just one of three other parcels of land Jordan purchased last April in anticipation of building upcoming schools. All are within one-half mile of the groundbreaking site.
Dunford said one of the parcels, a100-acre site, will likely be home to an anticipated middle and high school, which may help with student growth expected at Copper Hills and Herriman high schools and Sunset Ridge and West Hills middle schools.
“We want to avoid our students crossing Mountain View Corridor, which is a natural boundary,” Dunford said.
He also said the $16.8 million school is being built with lease revenue bonds, meaning the district borrowed money and will repay it with capitol revenue. Lease revenue bonds are usually used with construction of state office buildings and facilities.
“With building this school, residents will not see a raise in paying taxes,” Dunford said. “We are doing everything not to raise tax money. This is one way we can do it as a school district in constant need of new schools with our growth in our cities.”
The new school, which will be 75,255 square feet, is under construction by Hughes General Contractor. It is designed with a gymnasium, media center, computer lab infrastructure, three playgrounds, and projectors and voice enhancements in all classrooms. There are plans for skylights to bring in as much daylight as possible, said Dave Rostrom, district facilities services director.
“We use a lot of bright colors to identify the different pods or grade levels so it’s easy for students and patrons to identify,” he said. “Plus, all the bright colors make it cheery.”
The new school capacity is built for 850 students; however, with additional use of building space and six portables, it could reach 1,050 students, Rostrom said.
Joining State Superintendent Sydnee Dickson and members of both Jordan Board of Education and the Utah State Board of Education in attendance was Principal Nick Hansen, of nearby Golden Fields Elementary, which the school design was based on, designed by VCBO Architecture firm.
“I’m excited to have new neighbors to the west,” he said, adding that he came so he could share the news with his community. “This new school may have impact or not on our school numbers, but they certainly will be a welcome part of the education offered to the Daybreak community.”
Already three elementaries — Golden Fields, Eastlake and Daybreak — serve the growing Daybreak community, which Hansen estimates is at 50% of its master plan.
The groundbreaking ceremony also included a performance from Mountain Creek Middle School’s choir and remarks from South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey and Daybreak Communities’ External Relations Director Rulon Dutson. Mountain Creek Middle School’s student leaders also greeted guests.