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Reconstruction lays siege to PCHS

Jared Whitley Of the Record staff

The "learning village" of portable classrooms in the Eccles Center parking lot will be home to many Park City High School students during reconstruction, but perhaps none more so than sophomore Craig Murray.

Next semester, which starts at the end of January, Murray will have six of his eight classes in portable classrooms.

"I don’t really mind," Murray said.

He’s not concerned that the portable classrooms might be colder than those in Park City High School, but says the morning classes might be rough. Something he’ll miss is easy access to hot water. In some of his classes now he can have hot chocolate or coffee, beverages that he’d "definitely" need more in the portable classrooms. But bathrooms are another issue. Murray is very concerned that there will be only one bathroom building for the learning village, that it will be co-ed, plus "you have to get a key from the office and it’s probably a port-a-potty." His friend, Rick Wilcox, also a sophomore, is excited to have two classes in the portables. "Because it’s outside, I just like it," he said. "it’s kind of in a different area than indoor classes," Wilcox continued. He’s confident the rooms will be well heated. But the portable classrooms are only part of the greater Park City High School reconstruction project. To keep parents, teachers, students, and others informed about reconstruction-related happenings, Park City School District released a "PCHS Construction Coordinating Plan" on its Web site (pcschools.us) Monday morning.

The plan includes a reconstruction timeline, a list of members of the construction coordinating committee, and answers to 19 frequently asked questions. Demolition of the building’s west classroom wing scheduled to begin in February 2006. The first phase of reconstruction includes most of the classrooms and is scheduled for completion in August 2007. The rest of the project should be done by August 2008. The project includes putting artificial turf on Dozier Field, which should be ready by September 2006. Sophomore Anthony Fizer said the timeline of the project is bad for students in his grade. "It’s gonna be done after our last year," Fizer said.

This has been an unfortunate trend for Murray, who saw remodeling of Parley’s Park and Treasure Mountain finish as he left those schools too.

Parking is a pressing reconstruction issue. Portable classrooms will consume about 120 spots, and construction trailers will take about 100 in the main parking area by the football field.

But parking hasn’t been a problem so far, Fizer reported, as he parks in the lot of the nearby LDS Church, which is allowing PCHS to use the lots on school days.

"It’s just a little bit far and through the snow," Fizer said.

But only so many cars fit on the LDS lot, and the surplus is overflowing into surrounding neighborhoods.

"All the streets are full of cars," Murray said. "It’s not that big of an issue. You can just park at 7-11."

The Park City Police Department hasn’t seen a huge increase in parking issues or citations in the area, according to Lt. Rick Ryan, "but I expect that will probably change as people find it more difficult in finding parking and they’re parking where they’re not supposed to."

Cars aren’t cited if they park on private property such as a business parking lot unless the property owner calls the police and complains, Ryan said. He observed that "residential streets are made for parking" unless restrictions are posted. But during the winter, parking restrictions apply that teenagers might be cavalier toward. "Unfortunately they get that way," Ryan said. "We really need them not to have that attitude and be mindful that there are residents and the residents get upset when they see a huge influx of parking in their area and they call and we need to respond to their complaint." Ryan noted, "We don’t want to be punitive if we don’t have to." SIDEBAR: Interested parties with questions can turn to members of the coordinating committee, which includes parents, teachers, and others: Hal Smith Doug Payne Jerry Fiat Dana Reilly Jennifer King Sue Galusha Chris Maddux Brenda Lake Sarah Stewart Dale Hart Bill Parry Tyler Scott Kathryn Ward Kim Carson Lisa Kirchenheiter Steve Oliver David Hallock Vern Latham Kendall Smith Pablo Gotay


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