As I See It

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A letter from Mayor Seghini

We need to support the Canyons District’s proposal to bond for $283 million to build and renovate schools. How exciting would it be for our students to attend a new Hillcrest High?  What a thrill it would be for children to attend a new Union Middle or Midvalley Elementary! Those are three schools that would be rebuilt if the public approves the District’s tax-rate-neutral proposal on Election Day. The first school year of Canyons School District was 2009. Jordan School District began in 1905. The first school year of Jordan District began in 1905-1906. The Jordan District provided for the education of students in the south valley and in Bingham Canyon. The goal for this district was to provide elementary schools and junior high schools in local communities and to provide two high schools. One high school, Jordan High School, provided education for all of the high school students in the south valley area and Bingham High School in Copperton provided education for all of the students living in communities in Bingham Canyon. As communities grew, Jordan District built schools to serve students living in each of the south valley communities. Some schools were replaced and as student growth continued more building was needed. The growth made it necessary to evaluate the growing population of students.  Kennecott Copper closed Bingham Canyon which displaced students living in the Bingham Canyon and in Lark while older, small schools were in communities that had begun to grow.  The growth outpaced the money and needs for educational programs in Jordan District.  New schools were being built on the west side of the valley.  Small communities were finding that many families wanted to move into these communities.  An example of this explosive growth can be seen in Riverton, Herriman, South Jordan, and West Jordan.  This growth made it impossible to meet the needs of cities east of the Jordan River.  Schools on the eastside of the Jordan River were crowded and needed to be improved or replaced. Schools and communities on the west side of the river were using all of the resources available.  Eastside schools were in need of updates and renovations; however, the growth was demanding new schools in the rapidly growing parts of the valley where none existed in the past. No money was available for schools east of the Jordan River. Communities east of the Jordan River recognized that there was no way that Jordan District could fund the growth and the needs of west side communities and also update our eastside schools.  The communities of Midvale, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy,  Draper,  and the town of Alta began meeting to see if there was a way in which they could find a solution for the students in our eastside communities. It became clear that we needed to become a new district so that your tax dollars could be used to address your needs for your children. This was not an easy choice. I taught in Jordan School District for 36 years. I loved working for this district but my choices were to close Midvale schools and to bus Midvale children to West Jordan or to join other eastside communities. Our Midvale students came first. The vote to become our own district was approved by the voters of the communities of Midvale, Sandy, Cottonwood Heights, Draper and the town of Alta.  We became Canyons School District on July 1, 2009. We now can use your educational tax dollars to house and educate our children and to serve the communities in which they live. Midvale has been very fortunate. We have a new Midvale Elementary and Midvale Middle School. As our population has grown we have a new extension added to Midvale Elementary. If the proposed bond is approved, in addition to a new Hillcrest, Union Middle and Midvalley Elementary, bond money would be used to install windows and skylights at East Midvale Elementary. This project will provide more natural lighting for our East Midvale students. Those of you whose have been involved with Hillcrest High School know this school needs to be new and improved.  Your support of this bond will allow us to continue to improve schools in Canyon School District and in Midvale City. What is most important is that your approval of this bond will not increase your school district taxes. If this bond is approved the children of Midvale will go to safe and state-of-the-art schools. These upgraded and improved schools will assist teachers and principals as they provide educational opportunities for student success in an educational environment that will meet the needs of your children.