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Granite boundary changes proposed

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The anticipated opening of a new junior high school and an effort to more equally distribute students on the west side of the Granite School District have prompted proposals for numerous boundary changes.

The Granite Board of Education looked at the junior high school proposals Sept. 4 but will not make recommendations until a Sept. 18 meeting. School-community councils then will have an opportunity to study the proposals during October open houses before final decisions are made in November.

In addition, the board has set a meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, to consider boundaries for 33 elementary schools. That consideration could include consolidation of schools with dwindling student numbers.

"Granite has lost 8,500 students in the past seven years, but the west side just keeps growing," said board president Lynn Davidson. Granite is feeling the same pinch as other Salt Lake Valley districts, with declining enrollment on the east side of the valley and a building explosion on the west. Salt Lake District announced closure of two east-side elementaries this summer in response to the same phenomenon.

Granite District plans to open its new Matheson Junior High School, now under construction at 7600 W. 3600 South, next year. The school will siphon some 1,040 students from nearby junior high schools, but many of the west-side schools will continue to be overcrowded, said McKell Withers, assistant superintendent for support services. The district may need to construct yet another junior high school in the next few years but has not yet located a site, which would require up to 22 acres.

The current junior high school boundary proposals have been developed over several months of study conducted by Jerry Pulsipher, director of planning and boundaries. The board required that the review look for the most safe, reasonable, simple and cost-effective boundaries that could be determined. Most of them have been tentatively approved by the local school community councils, although some have reservations and want additional study.

Withers noted that parents may consider enrolling their students in another junior high school if they are not satisfied with boundaries, but such requests are subject to availability and must be processed in January for the following school year. Busing to less-crowded east-side schools also is an option when enough willing students are available to fill a bus.

The proposed new boundaries include:

Brockbank: Beginning at 5600 West and 2100 South; west to the Tooele County line: south to 6600 South; east to the railroad tracks; north and northwest along the tracks to U-111; north along U-111 (8400 West) to 3500 South; east to 5600 West and north to the point of beginning. Potential additional growth in the neighborhood is cause for concern.

Hunter: Beginning at 4400 West and 3500 South; west to 6400 West; south to 4700 South; east to 5400 West; north to 4100 South; east to 4400 West; north to the point of beginning. Residents request busing for students between 3500 and 4100 South and 5600 to 6400 West, for safety reasons, although the area does not meet state two-mile limits for busing. The district hazardous busing committee would make that determination.

Jefferson: Beginning at the D&RGW railroad tracks and Planada Way; southwest to both sides of 5415 West to Colter Drive; along Colter to Mountain Man Drive; southwest to Lewis Clark Drive; west to 5420 West; south to 5400 South; west to U-111; south and southwest along tracks to 6600 South; east to 4400 West; north to 6200 South; west to the D&RGW tracks at 4760 West; northeast to point of beginning. Overcrowding will continue to be a problem and more study is needed.

Kearns: Boundary remains the same except students in Parkridge Subdivision, located from 6200 to 5505 West and 5600 West to Impression Drive, would go to Jefferson.

Kennedy: Beginning at Bangerter Highway and 3500 South; west to 4400 West; south to 4100 South; west to 5400 West, south to 4700 South; southeast along the D&RGW tracks to 4985 South; east to 4620 West; north to 4955 South; east to 4420 West; north to 4715 South; east to Bangerter; north to the point of beginning.

Matheson: Beginning at 6400 West and 3500 South; west to U-111; south and southwest along U-111 to 6400 South; east to 5420 West; north to the middle of Lewis Clark Drive to Crockett Drive; north, including both sides of 5415 West and northeast along Planada Way to the D&RGW tracks to 4700 South; west to 6400 West, north to point of beginning.

Valley: Beginning at 3500 South and I-215; west to Bangerter Highway; south to 4700 South; east to 3200 West; south to 5200 South; east to the South Jordan Canal, 2860 West; southeast along the canal to 5400 South at 2700 West; east to I-215 at 2400 West; north to the point of beginning.

West Lake: Beginning at 2100 South and I-215; west to 5600 West; south to 3500 South; east to I-215; north to point of beginning. Parents south of 3500 South want their students to remain at West Lake.


E-mail: tvanleer@desnews.com