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Millcreek Journal

In spite of setbacks Skyline unveils new pool and gymnasium facilities

Oct 01, 2022 07:47PM ● By Lizzie Walie

The ribbon-cutting ceremony signified the opening of several new athletic facilities including a gymnasium and swimming pool. (Photo courtesy of Granite School District)

By Lizzie Walje | [email protected]

Skyline High School was finally able to provide students, families, alumni and faculty with some good news following a month of hardships. The school, which is currently undergoing a complete rebuild, has officially completed several of its new facilities. The unveiling of these new amenities is two years in the making, as the rebuild officially broke ground in November 2019. The Skyline community unveiled the newly rebuilt gymnasium and pool on Sept. 20.

So far, the new build boasts an entire athletic facility featuring a main gymnasium, pool and practice field space. While the rebuild will extend well into the next four years, students will now be able to take advantage of the new athletic facilities.

The celebration provided a much-needed distraction, following several weeks of challenges. On Sept. 14, flooding wreaked havoc on Skyline flooding the auditorium, hallways and multiple classrooms. The damages were quickly attended to, and no injuries were reported. Unfortunately, a mere two days after the school unveiled these new facilities, the old gymnasium erupted into flames.

A Unified Fire Authority representative explained, “We dispatched to the school at 10:30 p.m. (on Sept. 20). The flames had engulfed the insides and were starting to form outside. We quickly extinguished the fire but there were some lasting effects due to the burning of tar and insulation.”

At the time of publication, the fire department has yet to discover the cause of the fire, however, an investigation is still ongoing.

Structurally, there have been lots of challenges with the current Skyline High School building which was originally erected in 1962. Following the flooding, principal Mitch Nerdin emphasized the need for a new building. “The flood is indicative of an ongoing issue, and what has become a regular occurrence with our leaking and aging roof,” he explained in a statement made to students, faculty and alumni via social media.

Despite Nerdin’s acknowledgment of Skyline’s ailing infrastructure, the plans for a new school have been on the books for several years.  

“The Skyline rebuild was made possible by the 2017 voter-approved Granite Bond, which put in motion a major strategic plan to rebuild, renovate and revitalize aging schools in Granite School District,” Ben Horsley, the chief of staff of Granite School District, said.

Skyline is just one of many schools in the district that are currently undergoing major renovations and rebuilds. The process, which is being largely documented online, shows major progression for schools districtwide, many of which, have received little to no major renovations since their initial builds.

Originally when plans for the Skyline rebuild were unveiled, the timeline in place had completion marked for December 2025. However, the completion date has since been postponed as the rebuild broke ground in November 2019 just months before the Covid-19 pandemic would sweep the nation and cause delays.

As of now, the stadium, east site, baseball fields, and brand new athletics building are fully functional. In the next coming years, a central site, a west site, an academics building, a performing arts building, and several other sports facilities will be unveiled. However, contrary to the December 2025 end date, the complete rebuild is set to be fully actualized following the unveiling of the last portion, the central site, in December 2026.

To celebrate the opening of the new gym and pool, the school held a ribbon-cutting event facilitated by student leaders. Present were the school’s band, cheerleaders, student-athletes, and faculty to rein in a new era of athletics. Following the ribbon cutting, members of the community including the media were welcome to tour the facilities and participate in all the events including the evening’s Lady Eagle varsity volleyball game.

While the festivities certainly helped to build morale, it wasn’t without criticisms or concerns from parents, families, and students who question why the athletic facilities were given priority over academic housing. Especially when those in the administration, like Nerdin, have attested to the ongoing challenges faced when a structure becomes outdated. Many concerned parents pointed out on social media that the school still has years to go before its construction will be complete, and that’s hoping there aren’t any other delays.

As for now, the plans for rebuilding Skyline will go on in their pre-determined order, with a reminder from the district that “the safety of our students is always our top priority” and that progress is being made every day.