SLArts New Classrooms Project 2020
Salt Lake Arts Academy will begin a Classroom Addition and Playground Improvement project on May 4, 2020, taking advantage of the school dismissal. The project is scheduled for completion by mid-September. We are adding three Classrooms to our second story, above the existing Commons space, adding a small Maker's Space room to SLArts lower level, and providing much needed improvements to our outside play area. The entire new addition will add 4,000 square feet to SLArts and allow our students better classroom settings and smaller class sizes in some rooms.
The bulk of outside construction is scheduled to be complete prior to the start of school in late August 2020. SLArt’s Administration, the construction company and Teachers will have a detailed school safety plan – shared extensively with parents -- for the three weeks that construction overlaps with school. Paulsen Construction was the winning bidder on the RFP SLArts issued last summer and was the contractor on our original Arts Wing addition; they know our school well and we are confident in their ability to complete this project on time. The addition was designed by Kenton Peters (SLArts alum parent) and John Newell, of PetersNewell Architects, as an extension of the original Arts Wing design.
This project is the result of several years’ worth of planning and work by our Governing Board, responding to Parent and Faculty input from our strategic planning survey of 2018 concerning facility improvements. In January, SLArts became the very first small Charter School (less than 500 students) to be backed with the State of Utah’s AA bond rating. That approval allowed SLArts to issue tax-exempt bonds at very favorable interest rates, and on March 5, 2020 SLArts closed on a financing package, borrowing $6,390,000 at 2.68%. This new financing allows SLArts to:
- Refinance our existing debt,
- Borrow enough additional money to construct the “core and shell” of our new classrooms, and make other critical facility improvements,
- And still reduce our annual debt service payment by $50,000.
In the 2020 – 21 school year the size of our student body will remain where it is today, at 408 students (102 per grade). In the 2021-22 school year we will add three more students per grade than we currently serve, for a total of 420 students. We will be adding 1.5 additional Teaching faculty in the Fall of 2021.
We invite parents and students to view the renderings and floor plan of the planned construction, located in the main office. Heather Shepherd [email protected], Moni Schwaerzler, [email protected] and the Governing Board ([email protected]) invite your questions and comments.