PCHS facing: stone, tile, or block?
Planning on the Park City High School $29.4 million reconstruction has taken months and months, but it’s almost over. Or at least that’s the goal for next Tuesday’s meeting of the Park City Board of Education, when board members will decide what materials to use for the school’s faade. "At this point I think Park City High School should be the signature building for the district," said Vern Christensen, board member. "High schools are typically the signature buildings for a school district." The board has three options for materials to decorate the high school exterior: stone ($500,000 cost) tile (estimated $250,000) split block (free) The board had previously considered an option for "cultured stone," which would cost about $300,000, but abandoned the idea. "We’ve gotten considerable feedback that it just won’t hold up to our climate," said Kim Carson, board vice president. The tile is a new option. It would be rusty red, "tones that I feel would go very well up here," Carson said. "It was very attractive." Christensen favors the stone facing, which would drive the total price of the project to $30 million. "With stone or without stone, the building will have a different look and a different character. We just have to decide what that look and character is and what would be best for the decision we’re making," he said. Carson said, "I can’t say that I’ve made up my mind yet. I’ve gotten a lot of input from constituents. They seem to be adamantly one way or another." Board president David Chaplin’s position is supportive of the stone if "it clearly makes the building more attractive, but I haven’t seen any convincing reason to look at it that way as of yet." He reviewed emails he’s received on the subject and found three times as many against the stone as in favor of it. Christensen said, "We’ve had a lot of mixed feedback. The biggest misconception is if you’re going to spend that much money, spend it on people and programs.’ That’s not really the same decision." Funding for building projects comes from a capital outlay tax. That money doesn’t feed into the same fund that pays for teacher salaries, for example, Christensen explained. "It’s not an apples-to-apples analysis. You can’t compare the two," Christensen said. Moreover, if the $500,000 spent on the stone faade went to classroom reduction or teacher salaries, that money would have to come every year, Christensen continued, whereas the building construction is a one-time shot for as long as 50 years. "We’ve had some pretty passioned positions from both sides, the ones that are in favor of it are saying that’s a great idea," Christensen said. "It’s not like we don’t have the money to pay for it. That’s not the issue." But that money could fund other capital projects such as technology or classroom equipment, Carson said, which many constituents have told her would be better. Christensen and district business administrator Von Hortin crunched the numbers on how expensive the stone facing would be per taxpayer. A $400,000 primary residence would pay about $6 per year for the next three years to fund it. "If you amortize it over 50 years, it’s 36 cents" per year, Christensen said. Mock-ups of the three different exterior types will be at the high school by the end of the week to show people what it will look like, Carson said. Before the board decides at next week’s meeting, community members are welcome to voice their opinions. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the district offices at 2700 Kearns Blvd. Board contact info: District 1 Thaynes & Iron Canyon, Old Town, Pay Day & Golf Course, Deer Valley Dave Chaplin, president 649-9613, dchaplin District 2 Prospector, Prospector commercial, Park Meadows east, Highland Estates/Silver Summit, Old Ranch Road/East Silver Springs Lisa Kirchenheiter 649-7786, lisakirch District 3 Lucky John/Park Meadows, Post Office/Eagle Point, Quarry Ranch/Ranch Creek, The Canyons/west of SR 224, west of Silver Springs Drive Vern Christensen 655-2941, vernc District 4 Silver Creek/Red Hawk, Spring Creek/Jeremy Ranch (Daybreaker), Southridge/Old Jeremy Ranch Kim Carson – 649-1743, kcarson District 5 Olympic Park, Lower Pinebrook/Ranch Estates, Timberline, Summit Park Kathryn Adair 645-0819, kadair
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