EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A community that’s only been in existence for 20 years will soon have its very own public high school.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday along Pony Express Parkway, north of the City Center neighborhood, for the new high school in Eagle Mountain.
As district officials, city leaders and community members broke ground for a high school in Eagle Mountain, Jarom Becar couldn't help but be excited to see his daughter use a shovel at the site where she will someday go to high school.
“We have been in Eagle Mountain since 2004, right after we got married,” Becar said. “This is where my family started and it’s a special place in our hearts, and as we see the development and the growth and what the secondary schools will provide for our family and community, it just heartwarming and we are overwhelmed."
When Eagle Mountain was founded 20 years ago, students had to travel to Lehi for high school and in the past several years they have been bused to Westlake High in Saratoga Springs.
Eagle Mountain Mayor Chris Pengra believes the high school is critical to the community's future, especially as growth continues.
“This is a big step for us to have our first high school,” Pengra said. “I think it just adds more value to our residents, that they don't have to travel quite as far to get to their high school, and it is something they can take ownership of, too. They can take pride in having their own high school right here in Eagle Mountain."
The district has already named the school's principal, Courtney Johnson, who will be working with residents to make plans for the school and help develop a mascot, logo and identity.
With Westlake High bursting at the seams, the Eagle Mountain high school is a necessity.
“Next year we are projected to be at 3,100 students at Westlake, and we definitely need to give them their own space to grow and kind of be a bigger fish in a smaller pond,” Johnson said. “It is only fair that kids have opportunities, and when you get too large, too many kids in a school, we lose that close-knit feel that we have."
Construction will take 2 ½ years, and the new school is scheduled to welcome students at the beginning of the school year in the fall of 2019.