Design feature or fatal flaw? Hillcrest High teacher raises concerns

Local News

MIDVALE, Utah (News4Utah) Hillcrest High School is getting a $100 million upgrade but teachers worry the design makes it easier for an active shooter to hurt students. 

“A teacher’s worst nightmare is an active shooter,” said Katie Bullock.

Bullock worries interior design plans at the new Hillcrest High School makes her students more vulnerable. 

Large panes of glass would allow light to flow from exterior windows into hallways while also making the space feel open. 

“Common sense says if you can see your target, you’re more likely to hit it,” Bullock said. 

“These are schools not prisons,” Canyons School District Spokesperson Jeff Haney said. 

Research shows students learn at twice the rate in natural light, compared to artificially-lit classrooms, according to Haney.

The design scheme known as “daylighting” is being used in numerous schools within the district.  

“We are taking into consideration security measures but we are also looking at the latest research that will tell us the best places students can learn. We are still in the midst of designing. We are still in the midst of deciding,” Haney said of the Hillcrest High School proposal. 

After hearing concerns from teachers, the contractor shrink the size of the proposed window panes to 10×6 feet. 

Bullock said they’re still not bulletproof and therefore, not enough to protect students. 

“The word that keeps coming to mind is negligent. We have the chance right now to stop this in its tracks,” Bullock said. 

Construction of the new school could begin this spring and is expected to take three years. 

Comments on the proposed design can be sent to communications@canyonsdistrict.org.

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