Master planning workshop reveals dramatic changes may be coming to PCSD | ParkRecord.com

Master planning workshop reveals dramatic changes may be coming to PCSD

The Park City School District continues to zero in on plans to accommodate an additional grade at Park City High School and to construct a new school for fifth- and sixth-graders.

VCBO Architecture, the district’s master planner, revealed four possible schemes last week during the district’s third community master planning workshop. Participants in the workshop helped narrow the selections down to one option the firm will continue to pursue.

The favored scheme represents a dramatic change to the district’s Kearns Boulevard campus. Key points include: a wing built onto Park City High School where Dozier Field currently sits to accommodate ninth-graders; remodeling the high school gym for classroom space; a new building to house the district office and a community resource center; and an addition to McPolin Elementary School to allow it to accommodate more students. That work would be scheduled to be completed by August 2017. To be completed the following August would be: a new football field where Treasure Mountain Junior High currently sits; two indoor athletic facilities, including a basketball gym; and additional parking areas.

That scheme also includes a new school for fifth- and sixth-graders built on land near Ecker Hill Middle School. Options at that site include a standalone school as well as a new wing constructed onto the middle school.

Vern Latham, a partner at VCBO who is heading up the Salt Lake City firm’s work with the school district, said nothing in the favored scheme has been finalized, but it represents a good "launching point for the next phase that we’re going to go into."

One likely change to the scheme is separating the district office from the community resource center, Latham said. Additionally, land the school district owns near Bear Hollow has not been eliminated from consideration for the fifth- and sixth-grade school. The school’s ultimate site will be largely determined by the effects on traffic the school would create.

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VCBO representatives are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks with Summit County and the Utah Department of Transportation to discuss what can be done to improve the traffic situation at Ecker Hill.

"Obviously, you are going to impact traffic there," Latham said. "In theory, it works. But is it ideal? No. So let’s see what we can do to make it function better. We’ve talked about roundabouts and other things to help make traffic flow better."

One of the most common concerns expressed about the favored scheme during the workshop was the effect of moving the football field. Tearing down Dozier Field and constructing a new field would mean the football team could be without a home for one season. Latham said in the meeting it’s common for teams in that situation to utilize the field of a nearby school — in this case South Summit High School or North Summit High School — but a makeshift field could also be constructed between Treasure Mountain Junior High and the district office.

Bleachers from Dozier Field could be transported to the field and temporary lights could be installed, Latham said. Additionally, portable buildings could be used for locker rooms and concession stands.

"What you do now is going to impact you for the next 50 years," Latham said. "So let’s make sure that we do it right. Yes, it could make it tougher for some of the football players and parents for that one year, but what’s best for the long-term?"

Latham said the next step in the process is to fine tune the favored scheme, using the input gathered at last week’s workshop. That may result in several other schemes the district and community can react to in a future workshop. VCBO would then repeat the process of fine tuning until a plan is finalized.

"This process is about responding to the feedback we’re getting," he said.

More information about the master planning process, including the documents provided at the workshop, can be accessed at pcschools.us.

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