Park City High School taking shape | ParkRecord.com

Park City High School taking shape

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

For a day it looked like a landfill; a hillock of broken, battered student desks tangled with rebar and buried among chunks of concrete. Now, most of the rubble of the old science wing of the Park City High School has been hauled off, making way for the final phase of what has been called a school for the 21st Century.

Phase Two of the remodel has begun. Buildings will match the recently completed brick, glass and rust-colored Phase One buildings. All aspects of the remodel, including landscaping, are scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the 2008 school year.

Students and teachers recently moved into the ultra-modern, Atrium-like Phase One, housing naturally-lit classrooms containing sophisticated audio-visual systems.

Steve Oliver, the head of district support services and the construction liaison, said of the two-day demolition, "It provided instant gratification."

History teacher John Krenkel, whose new second-story classroom now has a clear view of the football field after the demolition, joked that he doesn’t want his new view spoiled with a new building. He may get his wish, as the new building will be a single story.

Oliver said that as soon as the site is cleared of debris, construction of the building will begin, with the pouring of footings and foundation walls, along with basic installation of mechanical and electrical service.

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Oliver said the new building will house special-education classrooms and a daycare facility. It is scheduled to be completed by fall 2007.

But the heart of the Phase Two construction will begin as soon as the school year ends in June. "Eighty percent of Phase Two, the meaty part, will begin with the tear down of the old cafeteria," Oliver said, adding that the Black Box Theatre and dance studio in the old building adjoining the cafeteria, are still in use, which is why the contractor is waiting until school ends.

He said the new buildings will house a new Black Box Theater, dance studio and administrative offices. Administrators have already braved on-site trailers, also known as ‘learning cottages,’ for one year, and now have one more school year to go in them. The three remaining trailers house administration, a computer lab, and one trailer that is half faculty lounge, half classroom.

Oliver said now that Phase One is completed and any problems have been solved, he will use the first weekend in May to mountain bike in Southern Utah, before jumping into Phase Two construction, which he anticipates will be less stressful on everybody.

"We were on an unbelievably tightly accelerated schedule," he said of the construction that was completed months ahead of schedule. He added that the goal was to get rid of the trailer/classrooms, give seniors two months in the new classrooms, after enduring hardships of leaky roofs, questionable heating and noise for most of the school year, and to give the construction workers a head start on Phase Two.

Phase Two will not be under the same deadlines, Oliver said. "Phase One was too stressful on too many sets of people."