Tonya Papanikolas ReportingIt was the first day of school for many kids today, including some who had a brand new experience. The Jordan School District is growing so fast, the district added four new schools or buildings and renovated an old one.
Sandy Elementary was renovated because of a fire last year. It's one of 87 schools in the Jordan District now. They expect about 1,000 new students a year; as new schools are popping up, it can be both exciting and a challenge getting them ready.
The outside may look the same at Sandy Elementary, but kids are finding the inside brand new.
David Gomez, Principal, Sandy Elementary: "They've put in beautiful windows. We now have air conditioning through the building, which we did not have before."
Because of a fire last November, the kids spent most of last year in four different schools, but today they returned to five and a half million dollars worth of new classrooms and renovations.
David Gomez: "Kids are excited. You can see smiling faces coming in here."
There are also two new middle schools in the Jordan District, including Sunset Ridge.
Catherine Jensen, Principal, Sunset Ridge Middle School: "The parents have been thrilled with the opportunity they have for their kids to attend a school that is actually built to be developmentally responsive."
While there's currently no road to access the front of the school, the inside is beautiful. Etched glass welcomes visitors and students in many languages and inspirational signs fill the halls. The cafeteria is bright and open, the gym has a running track, and students take four of their core classes in the same area.
Jason Powell, Student: "So you don't have to walk through the halls to get to your other classes. You've just got to switch around."
Daybreak Elementary also has construction going on outside and some parents are concerned about the dangers it creates. Right now kids are playing on the playground behind orange fencing while crews work on the half of the building that will eventually be a community center.
Heather LeBaron, Parent: "My concern is the rebar sticking out and the holes that the kids could fall into, or be curious and want to play in there."