Jordan School District held an open house for its new Copper Mountain Middle School in Herriman this week. Despite the added space of a new facility, Riesgraf said Copper Mountain will open near capacity in the fall, and already the school's basketball courts are set up to house portable classrooms in the future.
"To have a new middle school open and opening at near capacity, we knew that we just can’t build them fast enough, and I think that’s really telling of what’s going on in the south end of the valley," she said.
With most truth-in-taxation hearings being held this month, Van Tassell said its important for residents to become informed on what's being proposed and voice their concerns to policymakers.
"Now is the time for taxpayers to let their elected officials know that they’re just not willing to tolerate these kinds of massive tax increase," he said.
When asked if there was a concern public opinion could shift when faced with city and county tax increases, Riesgraf referred to a recent survey conducted by the district that showed 80 percent of respondents in favor of a bond.
"We feel pretty good about that," she said. "We feel pretty positive that it is what our taxpayers will support out here."
On the Jordan School District bond, Van Tassell said the Utah Taxpayers Association will soon be meeting with district officials to discuss cost-saving and facility-maximizing alternatives that could hopefully bring down the cost of needed funding. Until that meeting is held, the association will not officially oppose or endorse the proposed bond, he said.
"We’re hoping that we can work with them to find some opportunities that will benefit students, that will benefit taxpayers, that will be a win for everybody and not need to see these kinds of massive tax increases but still improve the education of students in the Jordan School District," Van Tassell said.
In Cache County, residents will vote on a $129 million bond in November to allow the school district to build two high schools and make upgrades and renovations to several older buildings. The district's high schools will also switch to a ninth- to 12th-grade configuration in connection with the new buildings.
If approved, the bond will add a $165 annual tax to the average home, which is valued at $197,000, Cache County School District Superintendent Steven Norton said.
The district previously considered a plan to build a single new high school, but because of the natural north and south division caused by neighboring Logan School District, some parents expressed concerns about busing their children to the opposite end of the valley.
"The response was very positive to the two high school model," Norton said. "We think the support is there, and we’re looking forward to a good positive response on Election Day."
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