PCSD $56 bond election is official | ParkRecord.com

PCSD $56 bond election is official

It’s official: The Park City School District will be turning to taxpayers in November, asking them to pony up for an expansive series of projects that would reshape the district.

The Park City Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to put a $56 million bond election on November’s ballot. The decision came one week after the Board approved a project list and declared the amount of money that would be needed in a bond to fund the proposal.

The project list is as follows: Park City High School expansion and gym remodel ($27.5 million); a new fifth- and sixth-grade school at Ecker Hill campus ($24.8 million); improvements to McPolin Elementary School, including moving the parking lot ($1.4 million); demolition of Treasure Mountain Junior High ($606,336); athletic facilities ($12 million).

In addition to the $56 million from the 20-year bond, the district would use just more than $10 million from its capital reserves to complete the work.

"It’s actually kind of exciting to have a finished master plan that is looking 10 years down the road and some projects that are set for two or three years out," said Tania Knauer, president of the Board of Education, in an interview with The Park Record. "This will give our schools an academic boost."

The bond election represents the next major step in the district’s large-scale master planning that has been ongoing for nearly a year. The process has proven controversial in recent months. However, just two members of the public used Tuesday’s public comment period to attempt to dissuade the Board from voting to issue the bond election. That was in stark contrast to the previous week’s meeting, which saw several more residents speak up, both against and in favor of the district’s plan.

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The most vocal critics have insisted that the process has been rushed, but that’s a claim Board members refute. Others are concerned that the district will expand Park City High School to the west, which would necessitate a move of Dozier Field, a notion that has proven unpopular among some.

Those details, as well the scope of improvements to the high school’s athletic facilities — including a potential indoor field house — will be worked out in the coming months.

A telephone survey commissioned by the district has indicated that a bond in the $50 million range would receive strong public support.

The Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting also voted to allow the district to begin the process of hiring architects and contractors, as well as a project manager, who will oversee the design and construction of the projects.

The district last sought a bond in 1999, totaling $30 million, in which voters approved funds to build Ecker Hill Middle School and Jeremy Ranch Elementary, according to the district’s website, pcschools.us. The district has fully repaid those debts.

Two public hearings will be held in the coming months to discuss the bond. The first is scheduled for Sept. 22, at 6 p.m. at the district office. The second is set for Oct. 20.