Hundreds braved the early evening heat Thursday to celebrate the beginning of construction on a complete rebuild of Brighton High School. collagebhsgroundbreakingParents, alumni, members of the Cottonwood Heights City Council, Canyons District administrators, Brighton’s High’s principal, teachers and members of Canyons’ Board of Education came to celebrate this milestone for the Bengal community with a ceremonial turning of dirt. collagebhsgroundbreaking.jpg

But most of all, there were students. From the band and cheer squad who performed the school’s Fight Song to the football players who put away the chairs, Brighton’s students filled the air with cheers in eager anticipation for the remake of their campus. “Any decisions we have made about the design of this new school has been with the students in mind,” Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood said. “The physical, emotional and educational welfare of students will always be at the forefront of our decision making.”

Brighton High is among three CSD high schools to be rebuilt or remodeled starting this summer with funds from a $283 million bond approved by voters in 2017. The bond will also be used to rebuild three other schools and build one new elementary school in west Draper, as well as school improvement projects.

After opening its doors in 1969, Brighton is fast approaching its 50th birthday — but a lot has changed in 50 years. “When this school was built, the state-of-the-art technology was black and white TVs,” Sherwood said. MHTN Architects and builders from Hogan and Associates Construction will use modern techniques to build a new school that is equipped to educate students in a modern age.

The new home of the Bengals will be built in phases over three years, starting with construction of a new auditorium, arts and CTE program spaces, where the existing school sits. Throughout the project, workers will be “building a new school on top of the old school, while still having school,” said Canyons Business Administrator Leon Wilcox.

Space is a premium on the campus, and there will be challenges during the build, most notably limited parking. But Wilcox said when the new school is completed, students and employees will have more parking space than they do now.

Other design features include a line of sight down the hallways for administrators and capabilities to lock down classrooms with the push of a button, in case of emergency. The school will have large windows and skylights to bring natural light into the commons area and classrooms, with an emphasis on small-group collaboration. Efforts to preserve elements of Brighton’s history are under way, including circular design elements that harken back to the school’s beloved circular halls.

Individuals with ideas on the pieces of Brighton’s heritage they would like to save are invited to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their thoughts and contributions. So many people have fond memories of the school, said Canyons Board of Education 2nd Vice President Amber Shill. “My own family is very attached to this place. As the mother of four children who have graduated from here, or who will soon attend here, I feel privileged to take part in its future.”

Over the past half-century, alumni of Brighton have gone on to be accomplished scholars, athletes, government and industry leaders, artists and contributors to their communities. Canyons School District Vice President Nancy Tingey told the crowd she’s confident many more will join them over the coming years. “With the rebuild of the school, future generations of students will build memories here, too. … Whether your children are involved in sports, whether they have an affinity or math or passion for science, they will find in this school a welcoming place to thrive.”

Members of the community came to show support to the new school. Canyons Superintendent Dr. James Briscoe, Canyons Board of Education President Sherril Taylor, as well as members Steve Wrigley, Clareen Arnold, Mont Millerberg, and Shill and Tingey, who represent the Brighton area and feeder schools, were there, as well as Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, Utah School Board member Katherine Riebe and members of the Canyons Education Foundation.

“None of this would be possible without your support,” Shill told the audience gathered at the school. “This is possible because of those who had the vision to create this school district and the voters who showed confidence and trust in the Board of Education. This trust is not taken lightly.”

 

Sept. 12, 2018

Construction Update: Crews on Schedule with the new Brighton High

Rebuilding Brighton High poses the unique challenge of constructing a new school on top of the old school while school is in session. But there are upsides to tackling the project in phases—most notably, it makes it easier for BHS aerialsmallarchitects to create a building that is truly responsive to the people for whom it’s being designed. Responsive design involves testing out ideas live in the early phases so as to allow students, employees, and patrons to provide meaningful feedback. During the first few days of school, for example, special attention was paid to how students and employees were navigating the campus. Adjustments were made to remove parking bottlenecks, impromptu pedestrian paths were lined with gravel, and signage was hung to more clearly demark emergency exits. “It took a few weeks for everyone to settle into new routines, and we had to make some adjustments. But it’s been a valuable process. Some of the changes we made will inform the design of the school going forward,” says the school’s Principal Tom Sherwood. Crews are on schedule and nearing completion of the first major project: Construction of new baseball and softball fields. As soon as the turf is installed, sometime in October, Hogan & Associates Construction will turn its attention to excavating and shoring up land to the west of the school in preparation for laying the foundation for a new auditorium. The auditorium and new athletics building on the east of campus are expected to be finished in 2020. For more information about the project, visit www.bond.canyonsdistrict.org.

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Aug. 3, 2018

Construction Update: What’s Next for Brighton High?

Work has begun in earnest on the three-year rebuild of Brighton High. It’s not easy to live near a construction site, but we want the Bengal community to know that the phased construction and demolition have been planned toIMG 7313 minimize disruptions and provide the utmost safety for those who live and work near the campus. During the first phase of construction this year, there will be no demolition. The existing building will remain intact. There will, however, be changes to the routes students use to navigate campus, and on-campus parking will be limited. Through negotiations with the City of Cottonwood Heights and other neighboring facilities, we have acquired extra parking in close proximity to Brighton High. All on-campus and overflow parking will require a school-issued permit. City street parking ordinances remain in effect, and will be enforced. We thank you for your patience, and invite you to share any questions or concerns you have. Questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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2220 Bengal Blvd., Cottonwood Heights
Groundbreaking: TBD

 

TBHS.pnghe Brighton High rebuild may be the most surgical of three high school improvement projects to begin this summer. MHTN Architects are challenged with building a new school on almost the same footprint as the existing building without disrupting school activities. They have about 35 acres with which to work, about half the size of most high school campuses, and they’ve been told to keep the football stadium as is. If that’s not enough, a 35-foot drop in the grade of the property adds another degree of difficulty. 

“Right off the get-go we realized that building anywhere on the Brighton campus is going to be a challenge,” said MHTN’s Associate Principal Scott Later at a recent community preview of the still-developing plans.

But with creativity, and the help of computer modeling software, the architects have devised a plan to build the new school in phases over three years, starting this summer with the performing arts and athletics facilities, which will bookend the current building to the west and east. Also at this time, the baseball and softball fields will be reworked to provide a new point of entry at the south end of the property. “For the first 16 months of construction no classrooms are impacted. We keep all our gymnasiums for activities and every single classroom untouched while we build these two structures,” says Brighton Principal Tom Sherwood.

Phase two will entail relocating some classrooms into the new performing arts and athletics facilities so that crews can tear down a portion of the existing building and replace it with a three-story wing of classrooms. Once they’re completed, the classrooms will connect to the two bookends. Work will then begin on the school grounds and parking lots. 

Following are some of the planned features for the 400,000-square-foot facility to be funded with proceeds from a bond approved by voters in November 2017.

Safety and Security

The upgrades are being undertaken with safety and security foremost in mind. A priority of the new plan is to improve traffic flow, making it easier for students, employees, and visitors to safely enter and exit the campus. The Main Office will be located on the ground floor and have an unobstructed view of the building entrance. The footprint of the new building, which is located across the street from the Cottonwood Heights Police Department, will be such that administrators have a clear line of sight down hallways. Visitors are routed into the administration area to check in prior to entering the building. In the event of an emergency a panic button can be activated that will lock down classroom wings.

Design Aesthetic

The building will be a modern interpretation on academic architecture. References to the existing circular school will be found in the flooring, circulation and site concrete patterns

Classroom Upgrades

Large windows and skylights will be added to bring natural light into the commons area and the classroom wings. Classroom windows that open onto commons areas for group study and teacher-collaboration are designed to contribute to a culture of transparency at the school.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How to you envision teachers using the collaboration spaces?

The classrooms will be connected by corridors that have been expanded to make room for different types of group activities. Architects have had preliminary conversations with teachers who envision this being an area where group learning can occur. It could be a space where teachers gather to brainstorm and plan. Or it could serve as a pullout space where students receive tutoring, collaborate on projects, or complete online coursework. Its open design is meant to be inviting and inclusive while making it possible for teachers to monitor the area from inside their classrooms. 

 

What opportunities will there be for community input?

With all of our schools, special care is taken to involve students, parents, teachers and the broader community in the planning process. We take pride in building schools that reflect the communities they serve and that serve those communities well — safe, high-quality learning environments that inspire students to set and achieve challenging goals. Throughout the design process, input was received from teachers, students, parents and elected officials, including the School Community Council. Safety issues were discussed at length with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. Architectural plans were described in open Board of Education meetings and during a community Open House. Updates on the project continue to be published on Canyons District’s website.

 

What’s being done to preserve elements of the school that are rooted in history?

We’ve looked at ways that we can preserve the heritage, such as pulling references of the circular nature of the existing building into the design. You may see it in circular floor patterns and a circular stair that architects are exploring. There are ongoing discussions about preserving the Bengal tilework in the front lobby and replicating other iconic pieces of art.

 

What are plans for keeping trash and debris from traveling to the neighboring properties?

Construction zones can be messy, but every effort will be made to keep disruptions to a minimum, maintain safe access, and keep the work zone tidy and free of trash and debris.

 

Describe the wrestling facilities.

The wrestling room will be comparable to what’s available at Corner Canyon High. It will be big enough to fit full size competitive mats and a seating area for parents. The only difference is there won’t be an attached locker room, because the new campus will have plenty of locker room space in very close proximity. As an added convenience, there will be a pathway to take wrestling mats straight to the gym for competitions from the wrestling room.

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