Murray School District would have to spend $300,000 to educate 665 more students if Murray City annexed property on its western boundary, the Murray Board of Education heard Wednesday night.
The best solution to accommodate the additional students would include moving Horizon and Grant elementary schools to year-round schedules, busing 665 students in grades from kindergarten to 12th, hiring 25 additional teachers and spending $300,000, school district officials said.But that was only one of three options presented to the school board. Assistant Superintendent David L. West said numerous options are possible using the district's seven elementary schools, but information was presented on the three most likely. All discussed options included busing students to Hillcrest Junior High School and Murray High School and to two elementary schools.
"The students could not be accommodated at any one given school," West said.
The increase in enrollment would occur if Murray approves property it is currently considering for annexation. On the city's western boundary, the property runs approximately from 54th South to 66th South and from the Jordan Canal (about 13th West) to Redwood Road (17th West).
The students in the area now attend Granite School District, which opposes the annexation. Most of the area's 392 elementary students attend Plymouth Elementary School, which Granite would have to close if it failed to meet the state's 70 percent utilization requirement.
The Murray School Board has not taken a stand on the annexation. Following Wednesday night's meeting, Chairman George I. Brown said the information, without comment, will be given to the Murray City Council. The city plans another annexation hearing on Nov. 22, the date of the next school board meeting.
Brown and member Bruce Cutler said they don't anticipate taking a position on annexation.
However, member Joyce Anderson wants the issue brought back to the board because of the significant impact annexation would have on the school district.
West said the annexation would add 392 students in grades K-6, 146 in grades 7-9 and 127 in grades 10-12.
He said Murray High School has the capacity to handle growth over the next five years, if no rapid growth occurs in western Murray, particularly the Cimmaron subdivision. The junior high students would have to be bused to Hillcrest because the closer Riverview Junior High has limited growth potential, West said.
With the elementary students, if the option using Grant and Horizon were adopted, Grant, in moving to year round, would have to be air-conditioned, and three portable classrooms would be placed at the school. Grant already has two portable classrooms, West reported.
Horizon, which is already air-conditioned and targeted for year-round classes, would likely be part of any solution, West said.
In the second option, the students attending Grant would be divided between Liberty and McMillan elementary schools, West said. However, to make additional room at McMillan, the boundary between McMillan and Longview would have to be adjusted.
In the third option, which again includes Horizon as part of the solution, the additional students would be divided between Liberty and Grant. West said it would mean Grant and Liberty would be at capacity enrollment but would be on a traditional school year.
West said although other configurations are possible, Viewmont and Parkside schools should not be considered in any options because natural growth in their areas would limit capacity.
Murray District has tried to avoid building new schools. But West said if the proposed annexation occurs, the board might have to consider purchasing a site for a new elementary school. The amount of undeveloped land in western Murray and in the annexation area would necessitate construction of a new school, if that undeveloped land were turned into subdivisions.