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Carl Sandburg Elementary School in the Granite (Utah) disttrict.

Granite (Utah) board takes steps to close 2 elementary schools

Nov. 14, 2019
Board members give preliminary OK to committee recommendation to close Westbrook and Carl Sandberg schools.

The Granite (Utah) school board has taken the first steps that could lead to the closure of Westbrook Elementary School in Taylorsville and Carl Sandburg Elementary School in West Valley City.

The Deseret News reports that the board voted to accept the direction of the district’s population analysis committee, which called for the closure of the two campuses at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

The recommendations were approved on first reading and will be considered for final passage next month.

Board President Karyn Winder acknowledged the pain of school closures for the affected communities as well as the school board.

“Nobody is celebrating up here. Nobody likes to close a school,” she said.

It's possible that Sandburg may be rebuilt in the future. It was identified for rebuild in 2025 under the $238 million bond passed by voters in 2017.

“Rebuilding Sandburg Elementary is still a possibility as part of the rebuild list, and I believe that a future board should have the option of evaluating that site down the road. This vote recognizes the importance of being fiscally responsible while maintaining future options for the board to rebuild on the Sandburg site down the road,” Winder said.

Westbrook parents urged the board to hold off from making a decision about school closure and spend more time studying other options.

The proposed closure of Westbrook surfaced as the school district has labored to eliminate school boundaries that straddle Bangerter Highway. The highway has undergone updates in several locations adding freeway-style interchanges intended to improve traffic flows and enhance safety for drivers and pedestrians.

The district plans to open a new South Kearns Elementary in 2020, which could increase its enrollment from 325 students to 600 in the new building.

Between the opening of South Kearns and the proposed closure of Westbrook, boundaries of nearby schools would need to be adjusted.

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