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Jordan Board OKs school in Herriman

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Children in Jordan School District can look forward to a new $17 million elementary school slated to open summer 2009.

The 80,000-square-foot structure is the last building to be constructed with the $280 million bond funding that voters approved in 2003.

The new elementary school is meant to alleviate growth on the west side of I-15, mainly in the towns of West Jordan, South Jordan, Herriman, Riverton and potentially Bluffdale, said Dave Stoddard, area executive director over Jordan District's Riverton Section.

"We have a desperate need in that area to have a new school to house the kids," Stoddard said.

The building, to be constructed at 13000 S. 5500 West, Herriman, will have the capacity to hold 900 students for a traditional school year but can increase by 25 percent for year-round school.

The Jordan School Board voted 4 to 3 Tuesday night to approve Bud Mahas Construction to build the new school. They should break ground within the next two weeks, according to John Taylor, executive director of auxiliary services for Jordan District.

Board members Kim Horiuchi, Sherril Taylor and Tracy Cowdell opposed the motion.

Sherril Taylor said he felt the project wouldn't be a good idea due to the district being split into west and east segments.

"It would be very unwise to make this expenditure with so much up in the air — especially in light of the fact we may be going to arbitration and no one knows how that's going to turn out," he said. "I just think we're tying our hands at this time by making such a large expenditure."

Other board members pointed to the fact the building was slated in bond plans. And the growth just keeps coming.

"I think it's imperative we get students a school ... in that area," said board member Peggy Jo Kennett.

The building will be two stories and almost identical to Eastlake Elementary School, which opens Aug. 18 at 4389 W. Isla Daybreak Road (11200 South), South Jordan. The architect is VCBO, based in Salt Lake City.

The district will begin work on establishing boundaries for the new school in Herriman by forming committees of parents. There will be public open houses this fall. A decision is expected to be made by January.

Students who may end up going to the new school could include those at Foothills, Butterfield Canyon, Herriman, Midas Creek and possibly Bluffdale elementary schools.

E-mail: astewart@desnews.com