High school will not have stone work | ParkRecord.com
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High school will not have stone work

Jared Whitley Of the Record staff

Park City High School will not have a stone faade.

A final budget and architectural plan for the reconstructed school was decided a month ago, but the Park City Board of Education waited until Tuesday to decide what to do for the building’s exterior.

The main debate was between a stone faade, which would have cost $500,000, or a split-block, which would carry no additional cost. The high school reconstruction’s current budget is $29.4 million. "There were different points of view from virtually every member of the board," said David Chaplin, School Board president. "Every member had valid and well-reasoned observations to justify their preference. But one board member said it’s money, money that could be better spent elsewhere." Board member Vern Christensen proposed a motion in favor of the stone facing, but did not receive a second, so the motion failed. "I’m disappointed that we didn’t go ahead and put stone on the high school," Christensen said. He noted, "We’re putting millions of dollars into the aesthetics of that building already." Christensen objects to the reasoning that the money shouldn’t be spent on something as purely aesthetic as a stone face. "It’s not just a cinderblock building and if you wanted to cut costs there are a lot of other things you could cut costs on," Christensen said. Board Vice President Kim Carson proposed a compromise, where the district would still get a reduced stone exterior, spending only about half the proposed cost. That motion was not seconded either and failed. After that, board member Kathryn Adair proposed the split-block exterior. Chaplin and Lisa Kirchenheiter voted in favor, while Carson and Christensen voted against it. "I have a hard time understanding the idea of how stone facing enhances the quality or the presence of the building," Chaplin said. "There are a number of people who think otherwise, their cases had some real merit as well." Regardless, Christensen said, "We will have a wonderful building, it’ll be a great building." Park Meadows resident Mike Stewart, an architect, spoke at the board meeting in favor of the stone, defending its "architectural character" of Park City’s mining heritage. "As I heard the discussion and read things in the paper I felt compelled to speak," Stewart said. He noted, "I felt removing that in an entry corridor to the city was something I think they would regret."

One problem Christensen sees is public expectation. The community approved renderings of a building with a stone faade. "It was something that had been portrayed to the community in everything we’d shown the community. It was going to have stone on it," he said.

Chaplin noted, "With the great services of the media, I think those people who are particularly interested will know the board’s decided not to use it."


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