Parent volunteers inspect schools in Canyons district

Parent volunteers inspect schools in Canyons district

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SANDY -- A group of parent volunteers has inspected every school in the Canyons School District. The goal was to come up with an exhaustive list of improvement recommendations.

Those recommendations will help "drive our decisions for the next 10 or 20 years," says Canyons School District spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.

"They even went so far as to crawl through boiler rooms, climb on to rooftops," says Toomer-Cook.

More than 50 volunteers spent five months inspecting each school. The average building in the district is 39 years old.

Among the more common recommendations: technology and wiring upgrades "to have the kind of curriculum that 21st-century learners require," explains Toomer-Cook.

The task force found no immediate dangers to students. They noted mold, asbestos, lighting, heating and cooling issues.

Now comes the hard part. No price tag is officially attached to the parents' recommendations, but the school board president threw out a figure of $600 million at a recent meeting.

If that amount is anywhere near correct, then it looks likely that the Canyons School District will have to ask voters for a bond at some point.

Another parent recommendation could take the sting out of a loan. The task force is suggesting selling surplus buildings or property, and taking the proceeds to fund the improvements.


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