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Midvale Journal

New Midvale Middle School In Progress

Aug 01, 2016 09:42AM ● By Julie Slama

The new Midvale Middle School continues under construction this summer and is expected to open to serve 750 students in fall 2017. The school has been serving students since 1955. — Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Midvale, Utah - When planners decided on the new design for the 61-year-old Midvale Middle School, they made sure to incorporate aspects of the community and school history. Now, those plans are in the works to becoming a reality.

The new school is being built on the same location as the former campus, 7852 Pioneer St., and has both exterior and interior work being done simultaneously, with plans to complete the outside before the adverse weather sets in by late fall, said Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney.

“The interior masonry is going along nicely,” he said. “The roofing is going on in areas, too.” 

The 203,935-square foot building will have a spacious entry way and commons; an auditorium, a gymnasium with an elevated running track and exercise rooms; indoor and outdoor student common areas; a multi-purpose room for school and community gatherings that can be used for performing arts events; and high-tech classrooms. It is scheduled to open its doors to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students in fall 2017.

The $38 million school building 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. 

Principal Wendy Dau said that there are 36 classrooms which are divided into three wings, one wing for each grade, housing the core subjects of math, language arts, social studies and science. Within each wing, there is a space for collaboration amongst classes and “will allow more flexibility with our teaching,” she said.

Although the building is traditional in design, “there are geometrical designs which teachers can apply when instructing kids in math,” she said. “There are some unique interior artistic designs and contrasting colors with each wing being trimmed in orange, yellow and green. The library and administration are in red.”

The library, which will be on the second level above the administration offices, will have a window over the front of the school and a computer lab that will be “open and inviting,” she said. In addition to the lab, there will be 13 Chromebook carts, each with 35 devices to a cart, an iPad lab, two computer labs and a business lab with desktop computers. 

“Technology has been a major issue with our teachers and there wasn’t enough in our old building so now we have more than doubled it. As part of a grant, in the next few years, we should have a one-to-one ratio for Chromebooks for our seventh-graders,” she said.

Professional development trainings that used to be held in the library, now will take place in the atrium, a 40-foot room with natural lighting and a small kitchen on the side. This atrium also can be rented to the community and be used as a little theatre for the performing arts. 

Dau said the performing arts area also will have several practice rooms for ensembles or soloists to practice and storage units for instruments. The auditorium will have the school colors of gray and maroon and will seat 680 students, which won’t be able to fit all 750 students expected to be enrolled at the time, so two assembles will continue, she said.

The gymnasium, which has been in progress this summer, will feature a separate dance room and a fitness room, which could be used as a weight room. In addition, a health room will be adjacent to the gymnasium that has a partition available to pull out.

The school will have a 3D printing lab, a carpentry lab, an engineering lab, a business lab, a 2-dimensional art room, a 3-dimentional art room and a foods lab. The last two are designed for future curriculum expansion, should the school begin to offer ceramics or sewing, Dau said.

Special education will be offered in two cluster units with a quiet room and conference room, which Dau said will benefit students since the old school didn’t offer those facilities.

Dau, who had toured the new building in late June, said that the cement had been poured, interior framing was taking place and dry wall was expected to be worked on in August. More interior work, including painting and installing carpets, should take place over the winter, she said.

The building is constructed with brick, which was designed to look like much of the 1930s and 1940s buildings in the community, and will incorporate signs from the old building, Dau said.

“We’ll have a big M over the main entrance and old signage within the building design. We’ll introduce an updated Trojan logo and incorporate the motto, ‘Strength in Unity,’ to show how diverse parts of our community come together to create this really great Midvale community. After walking through it, I’m super excited. It’s really a remarkable building and I’m excited for the kids and teachers,” Dau said.

Groundbreaking on the new Midvale Middle School was held June 11, 2015, in front of the old school. About 150 current, former and future students, teachers and administrators joined city and school officials at the ceremony. Students currently are being housed at the former Crescent View Middle School in Sandy.