Skyline rebuild still in planning process, district responds to neighbors’ concerns
Oct 14, 2019 10:11AM
By Heather Lawrence
Skyline High rebuild still in planning process. The The new school will be built on the campus while existing structures are still in use. (File photo. Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
Granite School District continues their work on the Skyline High School rebuild. With the facility still in planning stages, the community hopes their concerns will be addressed in time to make a difference.
“We have spent the last nine months evaluating community feedback including the survey and visiting with parents, students and the local school community council. We want to make sure we understand all those concerns as we proceed with the design,” said Ben Horsley, director of communications for GSD.
In June, a video rendering of how the rebuild will “transform” the campus was posted on GSD’s website. Many neighbors of the school posted comments, which were all quickly addressed by Horsley. To view the video and read the comments and responses, visit www.gsdfuture.org and click on the Skyline link. The new school will be built on the campus while existing structures are still in use.
One neighbor who commented was Mike Buehner. Buehner lives just north of the school and has had problems with students hiding in the vegetation near the border of his house and the school during school hours. He hopes the rebuild design will help solve that problem.
“I am not opposed to the rebuild, but I’m hoping they will use it as an opportunity to clean up a problem that has been neglected for more than 20 years,” Buehner wrote in an email to the Holladay Journal.
Buehner’s Skyline roots run deep. “I attended Skyline as did all my siblings. My two oldest children are Skyline graduates, one child currently attends Skyline, and two more will be Skyline ninth graders next year,” Buehner said.
Buehner is also invested in the neighborhood and its relationship to the school. “I live in the home I grew up in, which borders Skyline property on the north. We frequently hear Skyline students who are hiding out in the brush during school hours, have smelled marijuana smoke, and get some of their garbage thrown over the fence into our yard,” Buehner said.
Buehner said he understands how hard it can be to get everything right. “I feel like [I got] a standard reply. I also realize that my concern is rather far down the list of priorities, but I wanted to be sure to bring it to their attention. I read several other comments and see that Mr. Horsley has been very diplomatic in all his responses. He has a difficult job trying to keep everyone happy,” Buehner said.
Other neighbors expressed concern about bright lights and traffic from the school. A neighbor going by Chris wrote, “As someone who lives directly west of the campus, I am concerned about the lighting that is going to have to go in. We have had problems with light shining into our home at night. What considerations are being given to the neighbors of Skyline to mitigate the light pollution?” Horsley posted that the design team was working on this problem.
Adrienne Henderson identified herself as a resident near Upland Drive. She was concerned about the traffic flow and the safety of her children. Henderson also brought up issues of light pollution, water use on the fields and teacher and administrative salaries versus rebuilding existing facilities.
To her concerns, Horsley stated that extensive traffic studies have been done to “alleviate as much traffic as possible from Upland … there will be less traffic on Upland with the new building.”
Henderson and Horsley continued their comments back and forth to each other, with Horsley suggesting they just “agree to disagree” on the topic of administrator salaries.
Horsley shared with the Holladay Journal that GSD is “hoping to finalize construction timelines shortly.” One of Horsley’s responses to the video comments states that overall the “phasing estimates a five-and-a-half year construction project. A final phasing estimate will be posted in the next few weeks.”
Residents who have questions or concerns can check GSD’s website or follow them on social media. The office of communications is in charge of all statements. They can be reached at 385-646-5000.