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Jordan School District Asking for $495 Million Bond

Jordan School District

Jordan School District is bursting at the seams. Schools there are growing at the rate of nearly two elementary schools a year. They’re growing so fast, that the Jordan School Board voted unanimously Tuesday for a bond measure that will make way for the construction of 11 new schools. 

After several months of gauging public interest, the Jordan School Board decided on a $495 million bond measure for voters to weigh this November. Sandy Riesgraf is a spokesperson for the district. She says with enrollment expected to increase by more than 29,000 students in the next decade, Jordan schools need to make some changes, and quick.

“We are thrilled," Riesgraf says. "We’re excited to be part of a growing community.  But with that growth comes responsibility on everybody’s part; on the part of the city’s we work with, on the part of the county, on the part of the citizens and the school district to find ways to house students.”

The bond would pay for eight new elementary schools, two new middle schools and one new high school. The money will also ensure every school has air conditioning.

The goal has been to keep class sizes at 26 students per classroom, but Riesgraf says schools have had to get creative, which includes using portable classrooms without air conditioning and alternating students time in the classroom.

“I mean portables have saved us right now at a lot of our schools and that’s been probably the number one thing that has helped," Riesgraf says. "Twenty of our elementary schools are now year round. We may have to have more elementary schools or perhaps middle schools go year round. Having year round schools helps us out a lot.”

Riesgraf says surveys show the district has public support for a $520 million bond, but the board was able to scale that back. She says that decision means the district will have to forego plans for new turf on three high school football fields and transportation facilities to support additional buses and staff.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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