School district affirms priorities for first phase of facilities improvements
Board will further explore plan that could total $89 million
The Park City Board of Education met Tuesday, and while it did not vote on a definitive plan for the long-discussed construction and renovation projects at Park City High School and Ecker Hill Middle School, it did take another step in that direction.
The board indicated unanimous preference for a construction and renovation plan at Park City High School and Ecker Hill Middle School that could total $89 million.
The board was again joined by Dave Hart, who is an executive vice president with MOCA, an architecture and design firm the board hired to help guide the process. During the discussion, the board voted to affirm its four priorities for the master plan as indicated by a community survey in 2019. According to that survey, the priorities are:
• A full high school experience, with ninth grade moved to the high school
• A full middle school experience, with sixth, seventh and eighth grades together under one roof
• Strengthen community services, with preschool at all elementary schools and more robust community services at Jeremy Ranch and McPolin elementary schools
• Increased focus on sustainability, with the district’s intention to align with Park City’s 2030 carbon-neutral goal
The board heard a presentation from Hart earlier in the month in which he offered several options for construction and renovation plans at PCHS and Ecker Hill. At the high school those options were:
• Option A: Adding to the existing high school building primarily on its east side, with two new wings on the east side and one on the south. The cost was estimated to be $88.4 million.
• Option B: More modest additions to the existing building both on its western and eastern sides, at an estimated cost of $53.4 million.
• Building an all-new high school from the ground up, at an estimated cost of $176 million.
At Ecker Hill Middle School, the options presented were:
• Option A: Adding two new wings at the northeast and northwest corners of the existing building, as well as an addition on the west side. The cost was estimated at $35.2 million.
• Option B: Adding two new wings while also cutting into the existing structure, along with a bigger addition on the west side, with an estimated cost of $40.5 million.
• Building a new school at a cost of $60 million.
Board member Andrew Caplan said the best guidance he could provide for the first phase of the projects was to choose the options with the most efficient construction plan. According to Hart, that would be concurrent construction using PCHS option B and Ecker Hill option A, which Hart said should see both projects completed by May 2024 at a cost of approximately $88.65 million.
The board did not discuss proposed plans to expand elementary schools to augment preschool and community learning programs. The district previously indicated the projects aimed at aligning older grades would likely occur simultaneously, while the expansion of pre-school and community learning centers at elementary schools could be pursued on a somewhat independent timeline.
The board directed Hart to prepare a more detailed timeline and cost analysis for a scenario including PCHS option B and Ecker Hill option A for a work session at 10 a.m. March 31. That meeting will stream live on Zoom and a recording will be made available afterward.
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Park City School District’s Board of Directors is getting closer to a price tag for its district-wide plan to increase class space and improve wraparound services at its schools, but no decision has been made on how much of that $140 million will be part of a bond election.