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Midvale Journal

Midvale Middle reopens as school of the future

Aug 29, 2017 09:56AM ● By Jana Klopsch

At the Aug. 8 Midvale Middle School ribbon cutting, Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg said Canyons School District answered the community’s call for a modern learning environment that was easily accessible, energy efficient and wired for the high-tech demands of a 21st-century education with the new Midvale Middle School. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama   |   Julie@mycityjournals.com

Midvale Mayor Joann Seghini knows Midvale’s schools.

Seghini attended elementary school in Midvale at a school with a bell hanging high in a tower. She watched the previous Midvale Elementary be built adjacent to the city park and be torn down. She attended a junior high school on Center Street, which no longer exists, and watched Midvale Middle be built and torn down on Pioneer Street— only to be rebuilt again.

On Aug. 8, she cut the ribbon to the new Midvale Middle School, welcoming students back to their home after two years of being housed in nearby Sandy. The new building, with upgraded technology, is their future, she told the crowd of families, former administrators and teachers and community members who gathered to walk through the halls of the school.

“This is a school of the future, not of the past,” she said. “This will help you learn as you continue your education. There are no limits to your future.”

As students entered the 203,935-square-foot building’s spacious entryway and commons, they saw a 680-seat auditorium; high-tech classrooms and state-of-the-art TV broadcast room; indoor and outdoor student common areas; a 40-foot-high atrium for school and community gatherings; a modern library; multiple computer, iPad, Chromebook labs and mobile carts; a 3-D printing lab; and a gymnasium with an elevated running track and exercise rooms. 

And air-conditioning—as Principal Mindy Robison recalled a lack of when she was hired and taught at the previous school on the same site.

“We are so grateful for the community and their support of this school and our students,” she said. 

Canyons Board of Education board member Steve Wrigley echoed that sentiment.

“It’s been a real team partnership with our community and our board,” he said. “The former building was outdated, so it is so amazing how we can change education and move forward with this gift to the community, to our students.”

The 61-year-old school had its groundbreaking for the new building June 11, 2015, as about 150 current, former and future students, teachers and administrators joined city and school officials said goodbye to the former building.

The $38-million school building, situated at 7852 Pioneer St., is part of the $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond voters approved in spring 2010. Several other school buildings including Midvale and Butler elementaries, Corner Canyon High School and Albion, Butler, Mt. Jordan and Draper Park middle schools have been built from the same bond. 

Assistant Superintendent Kathryn McCarrie said with Midvale Middle being built after other schools, they were able to take what they learned and apply it to this building.

“We were able to bring this building of quality with upgraded technology to this community,” she said. “We knew what was needed, what we wanted and have it all be included as things are more affordable now.”

Canyons Board of Education member Mont Millerberg said that using more efficient systems and adding natural lighting throughout the hallways and classrooms also were important factors in designing and building the school.

“From the first days of our school district (in 2009), when we asked parents, students and employees what they’d like to see in Canyons District, we heard some things loud and clear: You wanted new and renovated schools,” he said. “You wanted modern learning environments that were easily accessible, energy-efficient and wired for the high-tech demands of a 21st-century education. We are definitely giving all of that to the community with this beautiful new school.”

Seventh-grade science teacher John Hendrichsen said it was overwhelming to walk into his classroom in early August even though he had seen it during the construction stages.

“As I was unpacking, I felt so special to be part of this brand new school and hope that students feel it too,” he said. “They deserve it. The old building was so old my dad could have been a student here. This is just so awesome and has such a different feel. I hope students feel how special it is to be able to go to somewhere nice and safe to learn.”

Both Hendrichsen and sixth-grade math teacher Bob McGee taught at the previous middle school building.

“We won’t have heat problems and with all the lighting and new technology, there won’t be problems with our comfort level,” McGee said. “As a math teacher, I’ll be able to use a large iPad to connect with our Smart Board technology for projection for the students.”

Students were impressed with the school. Rebecca Glover walked through the school with sixth-graders Brooklyn and Zack.

“I think it’s wonderful how open and bright it is in the classrooms and how they are set up in hallways to help teachers with creativity and be able to interact with each other,” she said. “The desks are able to move around and fit together for group discussions.”

Brooklyn liked how classroom walls can be opened with garage doors.

“It makes it huge and it’s more of an open classroom,” she said. 

Zach added that he liked the architecture.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “The design is really cool and bright.” 

Seventh-grader Maria Manousakis said after attending Peruvian Park Elementary and one year at Crescent View Middle, where Midvale students were housed during the construction period, it’s nice to have a new home.

“It’s a new school with new technology,” she said. “I haven’t had that as I’ve attended all old schools.”

Superintendent Jim Briscoe said the school was designed for not only current students, but for those of the future.

“This is going to benefit students for 100 years,” he said. “This is your home, your house, your community now and for generations to come.”

Seghini told students to use the school and its resources.

“We want you to go out and conquer with your knowledge and never lack for opportunity,” she said. “This is our gift to you, kids. Thank you for being our kids. Thank you for wanting to learn. Thank you for being the best kids in the world.”