The Alpine School District will finish the three schools on its 2016 bond, but the schools’ locations remains up in the air.
The Alpine School District Board of Education voted 4-3 Tuesday evening to say it would build a middle school and two elementary schools, while delaying the decision of where schools would be located by two weeks.
Julie King, a board member, said she needed more time to examine the funding plan before making a decision.
“Three sentences a few hours before a board meeting is not enough time,” King said.
The board spent months discussing what to do with the remaining $40 million of funds left from its $397 million bond. The three school construction projects remaining on the bond are estimated to cost $80 million.
The district attributed the deficit to expanding the scope of projects by adding square footage to schools and construction costs overwhelming the initial estimates.
In presenting a motion to commit to building a middle school in Lehi, an elementary school in Eagle Mountain and an elementary school in Vineyard, the board failed to disclose where the additional, needed funding would come from.
Sam Jarman, the school district’s superintendent, urged the board to vote to build the schools in those three communities.
“We tried to evaluate and prioritize those options and we have come to the board with the recommendation that you would, in essence, keep your promises,” Jarman said.
The motion was replaced with a substitute motion from Amber Bonner, who said she wanted more time to examine the options before voting on where schools will be located.
Not all board members wanted to wait two weeks to decide. Ada Wilson, a member of the board, said Vineyard has patiently waited long enough for a second elementary school.
“The land is ready to go in Vineyard,” Wilson said. “It is purchased, and there is a sign there that says ‘future site for another elementary in Vineyard.’ Many people have purchased their homes because of that property and that sign.”
Busing those students to lower-populated Orem schools, she said, would only be a temporary solution.
“We would be taking kids out of their neighborhoods,” Wilson said.
Maegen Jenne, the PTA president of Vineyard Elementary School, told the board the school’s playground equipment is overcrowded, students spend the majority of their lunch time waiting for food and recess time is spent in line for the restroom.
“The houses are coming, and they are coming faster than the school is able to build classrooms,” she said.
A funding plan for how to build the remaining projects has not been publicly announced. Scott Carlson, the board’s president, said the board will look at its options, and schools are built based on need.
“The funding plan is creative,” he said.
Wilson warned of consequences if the decision to name school locations was postponed.
“There will be a political capital price to pay in that delay, I think,” she said.