Park City Day School breaks ground on large expansion | ParkRecord.com

Park City Day School breaks ground on large expansion

Students at the Park City Day School participate in the school s groundbreaking -- or snowbreaking, technically -- on a 5,500 square-foot expansion to the lower school building. The expansion will house six classrooms and provide flexibility for project-based learning. (Bubba Brown/Park Record)

The Park City Day School has officially grabbed a shovel and dug into a new era.

The school on Thursday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 5,500 square-foot expansion of its lower school building that head of school Roy Parker said will help deliver a 21st-century education.

"It’s wonderful for two reasons: The most important reason is that it will give us spaces that will support teaching and learning," Parker said in an interview with The Park Record. "The second is that we’re growing, and it allows us to expand. Our enrollment has been growing, and to be able to add to the building for state-of-the-art classroom spaces (is a big deal).

"Since I’ve been here, we’ve added a middle school building right up the road, and now to add to the lower school is incredible," he added. "More than anything, it’s supporting teaching and learning and progressive education, so the kids can learn by doing."

The expansion will feature six classrooms as well as a large common area. The classrooms have walls that open up into double-rooms, which will give students ample space to collaborate and work on hand-on projects.

"Schools are no longer kids in rooms in rows — schools are messy and project-oriented," Parker said. "To be able to spill out and have space for students on the floor and to work together, that’s what the building will allow. The flexibility of the space is the real amenity."

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Hundreds of the school’s students participated in the Thursday’s ceremony, many wielding shovels. Parker said it served as a way to unite the students and step together into the school’s next chapter.

"It was neat to see all 220 kids gathered in a space, where we had a snowbreaking, instead of a groundbreaking," he said. "We had kids doing the digging, from our 3-year-olds all the way through our eighth-graders. For a school community, it was a celebration of our moving forward."

The project is slated to cost $1.4 million, a sum the school is affording by refinancing the equity in its existing property. Parker said the expansion will be a "tribute to all of the Park City Day School community" that has worked hard to make the school a success since its formation in 2010.

"It’s a tribute to the Board of Trustees that has supported the school and the families that have been here," he said. "It’s exciting for us to grow. Because (when the school opened), it was a challenge. To unite to be fiscally prudent and be able to expand the school is a celebration."