Some parents upset over proposed bond changes for Canyons School District

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 29 2012 1:02 p.m. MST

SANDY — Some parents of students at Crescent View Middle School are upset by a new proposal that would change how the Canyons School District spends the money from a bond passed nearly two years ago.

"It seems like they're pulling the rug out from under us, from what we approved, and changing the situation," said Sandy resident Whit Johnson.

Johnson voted in favor of a bond for the Canyons School District. When it was proposed, the bond was to build the new Draper high school and rebuild and renovate aging schools.

One of those up for renovation was Crescent View Middle School, where Johnson's children are currently on track to attend. But that won't happen if a new proposal goes through.

"It seemed like, ‘OK, we can live with this. It's not perfect, but we'll go with it,' and we all just backed the bond," Johnson said. "Now this announcement Tuesday is troubling because they're throwing out all of that time and energy spent to find a workable solution and changing it."

Under the new proposal announced last week, Crescent View wouldn't be renovated. It would be closed. District officials say it would be replaced with a new school built miles away in Draper.    

The bond allotted for $18.5 million to renovate Crescent View. The price tag to build a new school: $32 million.

Mount Jordan Middle School would be renovated, according to the new proposal, and Johnson's kids, who live in Draper, would be bused there, away from their friends and neighborhood.

"That bond would have never passed if that was their plan," Johnson said. "I feel like there's something else going on. I feel like we're not being told the whole story."

But Canyons administrators say they're looking for the best way to use the money and nothing has been decided yet.

"It's not a done deal," Canyons District spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook said. "It's a proposal. It's a very new proposal, and the board is taking input now and will deliberate that as they go into their further discussions as they go into the boundary proposal."

Toomer-Cook said the district welcomes feedback from parents. It's not a bait and switch, she insisted. Rather, administrators are examining the plan to make sure it's the right move.

Some of the feedback the district has received is negative; some is positive. But Johnson said there's a bigger issue with the new proposal.

"They can represent to the public whatever will make it sound good, whatever they think will appease everybody," Johnson said, "and then they're going to take the money and do, it appears, whatever they want with it."

Toomer-Cook said if the proposal passes, the current Crescent View school would be used for other educational purposes.

The next school board meeting is March 6. But the agenda isn't out yet, so it isn't known whether the proposal will be voted on during that meeting.

E-mail: jstagg@ksl.com

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