Cache County considers 1 or 2 new high schools

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14 2013 6:40 p.m. MST

NORTH LOGAN — The Cache County School District, tasked with finding ways to handle student growth, is considering building a new high school, two new high schools or expanding Sky View High School.

The Cache County School Board is preparing a bond request on the ballot in June and will meet to discuss which option is more viable for the district on Friday.

In 2003, the district built four new elementary schools to handle growth. “Now those elementary school kids are grown up, and we have this secondary crunch coming through us. We are at capacity in all of our secondary,” said Mike Liechty, deputy superintendent for the Cache County School District.

A committee studied the growth issue for nine months and recommended building another high school, which would require a $100 million bond.

The district purchased land in Millville. A new school there would mean that students in  North Logan would have to travel daily from one end of the district to another and through Logan, which has its own school district.

That proposal doesn’t sit well with some parents.

"Add a couple hundred more cars on there … you mess up your air quality, you've got teenage drivers driving on one of the busiest, most dangerous streets in the state — it's kind of a recipe for disaster," said Mandy Wilkinson, who has a student in the district.

"It's going to take 45 minutes out of our day to go pick up our child from, you know, every band practice, or whatever they have," said Julie Backlund, another parent of a Cache County student.

Not only would students be driving on a very busy road, the parents say it would split up the community.

"We go to school with the kids in Hyde Park, said parent Shelley Higginbotham. “We share the courts, we share the fire, we share the police, so in essence you are cutting us off from basically what we consider our community."

Another option being considered would make Sky View High School bigger and turn it into a 5A school. Most schools in the area are 3A schools, which means they can compete against each other in sporting events.

A third option would be building two smaller high schools, which would keep everybody in their own part of the district. That would cost more money, about $20 million more, but Liechty said down the road it would save taxpayers money because bond rates are low right now.

A new school or schools would open in 2017 or 2018.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc

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