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Wasatch Jr. High Students, Faculty to Stay Together

Wasatch Jr. High Students, Faculty to Stay Together

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Sam Penrod ReportingPrincipal Doug Bingham: "It is going to be difficult and certainly I would like to have a year and a half, I'd like that more, but we don't have that."

An overflow crowd filled tonight's Granite School Board meeting to hear the contingency plan for students and teachers at Wasatch Junior High. The school burned down just eight days ago, but with classes back in session in just over a month, a decision had to be made quickly.

Tonight, district administrators recommended to the school board students share nearby Churchill Junior High. It is the closest to Wasatch Junior High, there is enough room for both student bodies to share the school, and students from both schools will all move on to Skyline High. And most importantly it will allow Wasatch Junior High to stay together.

It was a standing ovation for Wasatch Junior High principal Doug Bingham as he was introduced to the school board. Students, parents and teachers filled the room to hear the plan for their future.

Patricia Sandstrom, President, Granite School Board: "The first thing the board and the administration want to handle is where do we house the kids in six weeks and where do we put the teachers in six weeks? We know this is a tragedy for all."

It was just eight days ago that a computer server sparked a fire, which destroyed the school and everything inside. Plans included dividing up students to other schools, having one school attend early in the morning, the other in the afternoon and evening. But the plan everyone seemed to agree on was to have Wasatch and Churchill remain separate, but to share the same building.

Doug Bingham, Principal, Wasatch Junior High: "I really do have faith in my faculty. They are committed individuals. Is it going to be painful? There is going to be some pain involved, but I believe we will rise to the occasion."

Churchill has the capacity to hold 13-hundred students. The enrollment from both schools combined will be 1550. so the district will bring in ten portable classrooms. And each school will continue with its own extra-curricular activities.

Jackie Matthews: "I think nothing but good can come from this. It is a community and people help one another and they will be together at Skyline anyway, so it's a chance to meet friends sooner."

Of course this decision tonight is just the first of many that will have to be made, including what will happen to Wasatch Junior high. Will it be rebuilt or torn down? That decision is not expected for several months.

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