HEBER CITY, UT (ABC4) – In response to tremendous growth in Wasatch County, the Wasatch County School District on Monday announced the launch of a year-long master planning initiative to direct the District’s facilities development over the next 20 years. The master planning process will evaluate existing conditions of facilities within the District, identify the District’s immediate and future educational needs, and engage the public in a conversation about the community’s long-term education goals.
“We need to be forward-thinking and fiscally responsible as we plan for growth within our District,” said Superintendent Paul Sweat. “It’s essential that we continue to produce the best educational outcomes possible to ensure students obtain the knowledge, skills and opportunities they need to reach their personal goals and become productive, contributing members of society.”
Beginning November 3, the School District will engage the public through various outreach activities, including community and educator workshops, online engagement tools, focus groups, surveys, and a community open house scheduled for April 22, 2022.
“The Board and Administration are committed to a master planning process that is transparent, inclusive and genuinely listens to parents, students and community members,” said Tom Hansen, Board President. “It’s imperative that we come together as a community to plan a successful future for our students. And a major component is the educational environment we provide for our students.”
As part of the effort to understand the community’s attitudes and opinions about growth and public education, the District conducted a broad community survey of registered voters in Wasatch County. The survey, which was administered to 489 residents and weighted to reflect the demographic makeup of Wasatch County, found that residents value high-quality public education and feel that adequate planning and funding are needed to meet the area’s current and future needs. Additionally, the survey also identified growth as the most critical issue facing residents today and that residents view growth as having a negative impact on education.
According to the latest U.S. Census, Wasatch County is ranked as the third-fastest growing county in the United States. In the last five years, the student population of Wasatch High School has increased by nearly 25 percent and this year’s freshman class broke a district record at 661 students.
According to Superintendent Sweat, while the School District can’t control growth, it needs to be proactive in developing educational solutions that meet the needs of our community now and in the future.
The Wasatch County School District will complete the master planning process in Spring 2022, and a draft of the master plan will be presented to the Wasatch County School District Board on April 21, 2022.
All County residents are encouraged to participate in the master planning process by visiting the project webpage at www.futureschoolsproject.com to find a schedule of upcoming activities, contribute ideas and feedback, and sign-up for regular updates on the process.