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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton High construction nears end, improved design benefits students’ learning

Sep 03, 2022 12:06PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

When Brighton High’s senior class of 2023 walked through the doors on the first day of school, they walked into a school year that will not be greatly impacted by construction.

“This is the first time we'll be starting school in four years that construction hasn't been significant challenge facing our school,” Brighton High Principal Tom Sherwood said. “Construction is done except for a few loose ends. The new school is amazing. I feel like the architects and the contractors did a fantastic job taking advantage of the location of Brighton and trying to showcase the views from every angle perched on the bench. I feel like it's a wonderful place for students to learn and also to enjoy the beauty of the valley, the mountains and the world around them. It’s really a great architectural achievement.”

The rebuild of the school on the same site over the past couple years are just down to the adjustments in carpentry, flooring, cabinetry, electrical and signage, “but all major construction is complete,” he said, adding that he expects those items to be wrapped up in 2022.

Sherwood said he appreciates the building’s design.

“Our building takes exceptional advantage of natural light; I really think that that's important. I think it aids in learning. I think it aids in moods. I think it helps with students’ social-emotional well-being to be in the presence of natural light,” he said. “I also like the feeling of our school, the hallways. It has a much more open and airy space. I also like our design of our classrooms and the flexible learning spaces.”

The library is amongst his favorite parts of the new school.

“That turned out amazing. The library has amazing views; it has great light and it’s very student friendly. They did a beautiful job,” he said.

The plaza has been a gathering place for students, including tailgating before football games this fall, and the field house has relieved the demand on gym scheduling for off-season sports practices, Sherwood said.

The new design also has allowed for improved security with better vision of students, patrons and visitors with non-circular halls, a secure office which has visibility of parking lots and other measures, he added.

The cost of the new school came in at $118.6 million, said Canyons Chief Financial Officer and Business Administrator Leon Wilcox.

Sherwood said it was good foresight to build the high schools with the new bond first because it “probably saved them tens of millions of dollars as construction costs skyrocketed during this project. It would probably be in the neighborhood of $200 million today for the exact same project to be completed four years in the future. We have a tremendous value because of the timeframe and a fantastic new school that benefits our students.”