UTAH COUNTY (ABC 4 Utah) – Nine new schools could soon be coming to Alpine School District — that is, if voters approve a $387 million bond this November.
Welcome to Westlake High, home of the ‘Mighty Thunder,’ where the student body is booming more now than ever before.
“It is really crowded over here, and we’re only going to get more students,” said Matt Norman, a soon-to-be senior.
With ever-increasing enrollment rates and back-to-school just around the corner, it is safe to say students have some concerns.
“I hope that we’re going to have more time in-between classes… It’s like a traffic jam in the middle of the halls,” said Shaun Normal, another Westlake student.
The Saratoga Springs high school currently has more than 3,200 students. Officials say almost half of those students learn in big outdoor satellite portables.
“That’s why we’re so desperate to get this passed,” explained Kimberly Bird, Assistant to the Superintendent of Alpine School District.
Bird says it is a similar story at schools across all 14 municipalities in the district’s boundaries.
After spending a full year looking at needs and possible solutions, the Board of Education officially proposed the bond, Tuesday, which means it will show up on this November’s ballot.
“Currently, we’re on the tail end of a 2011 bond…” Bird said. “We feel like $387 [million] can help us meet [our] basic needs for the next couple of years,” she explained.
Those basic needs include building a new high school in Eagle Mountain, a middle school in Saratoga Springs, another middle school in Lehi, plus six elementary schools throughout the district.
In addition, plans include rebuilding all or part of Lehi High School, Central Elementary, Cascade Elementary, and Greenwood Elementary, as well as some apparently much-needed renovations in several others.
“We’ve got some roof replacements there, and then we’ve got some access security issues we want to improve upon,” Bird said.
Officials say they also want voters to know “there will be no tax increase from Alpine School District…” Bird says. “It is possible because we have rapid growing assessed value in the district. We also layer in our bonds… That allows us to now layer in new taxes for the bond to occur on without affecting the taxpayer,” she explained.
If the bond is approved, officials say their number one priority is alleviating overcrowding at Westlake High, so they say they will start construction on the new Eagle Mountain high school immediately, with a tentative opening scheduled for the Fall 2019 school year.
Alpine School District currently has more than 75,000 students. Trends show that number will grow to 80,000 by year 2020.
To learn more about the proposed bond, click here.