Enthusiastic Indian Hills Middle students cut short their summers to take part in the grand opening of their newly remodeled campus at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held two days before the start of school.
“This newly renovated school is for our students. It’s all for the students,” Principal Doug Graham told the crowd of parents, alumni, teachers and community members who also flocked to see the school’s bright, colorful new interior. “The community was generous enough to provide the funding for this school, and in turn I challenge our students to express their appreciation by dedicating themselves to being the best they can be for every moment they are at Indian Hills Middle.”
If the Warriors, who spent the past year of construction attending classes at the temporary location of Crescent Middle, were eager to return home, the completion of Indian Hills also marks an important milestone for Canyons School District. It is the 13th and final major school improvement project financed with proceeds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010.
In just eight years, the District has rebuilt Alta View and Midvale elementary schools; renovated Albion Middle; built Corner Canyon High and Draper Park Middle; rebuilt Butler and Midvale middle schools, Butler Elementary and Mount Jordan Middle; brought Sandy Elementary up to seismic code; built additions at Hillcrest and Brighton high schools; and installed air-conditioning and heating systems in all schools—all without raising taxes and while maintaining CSD’s AAA bond rating.
For Board of Education President Sherril Taylor—an inaugural member of the Board and lifelong educator who once taught science at Indian Hills—the ribbon-cutting event felt like coming full circle. “It’s an honor to proudly declare that we did everything we said we were going to do,” he said, thanking community members for their support. “When you voted for a bond in 2010, we told you we’d build or renovate 13 schools — and this is the final one. …I have to say that today’s celebration would not be possible without you.”
The renovation was extensive. Among the “as-new” upgrades are: an improved entryway with a security vestibule to enhance safety; a new commons area that is full of natural light and offers a view of the mountains; new classrooms, labs and collaboration spaces; and an expanded kitchen and cafeteria.
Joining students and families in celebrating the new school were Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe, Business Administrator Leon Wilcox, Assistant Superintendent Kathryn McCarrie, Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, representatives from Sandy City and the PTA, and Canyons Education Foundation Board members Suzanne Harrison, Brad Snow, Aaron Metcalfe, and Bill Rappleye.
“What a turnout,” remarked CSD Board member Chad Iverson, “I’ve never seen so many students so excited to get started with school.”