Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Columbia Construction

Columbia Elementary ... all our boys have gone here. It was actually a different building back when Landon started Kindergarten. They tore it down and bused the kids to a brand new school (now Copper Canyon Elementary) while they rebuilt Columbia ... but the construction didn't end there.

Fast forward a few years, and growth in West Jordan required changes to 7800 South & Bangerter. Columbia is RIGHT on both of these busy streets. Back in 2009 they tore up 7800. Getting to the school became a huge pain! What should have been a five minute drive, was often 20+. Cooper was in kindergarten then, and when the weather permitted, it was just easier (and sometimes faster) just to walk (I did a post about it, you can see it HERE) for that mid-day pick-up. I started taking an alternate route home after picking up the older boys in the afternoon. Ironically, we would usually get stuck behind a bus ... we'd have to wait while all the kids got off, then continue on to OUR neighborhood, because we don't get the bus.

After just a couple of years, they tore up 7800 AGAIN ... and now there is major (and I mean MAJOR) construction on Bangerter Highway, which is right in the school's backyard. Check that, Bangerter is now IN the school's backyard. With the construction of the overpass and off-ramps, a good 10-20 feet of the school's property was taken over. Not only did the kids lose space on the playground, but this wiped out the playgrounds, swings, basketball hoops and tetherball ...

 Here's a picture I snapped Fall2011 ...

This was the time we were going through a lot of anxiety issues with Cooper. He was SO stressed about the weather and recess was a very hard time for him. He spent most recess times in the classroom or the office. I'd try to encourage him to go out to recess and play ... but there wasn't much of anything to temp him :(  As of today, this playground is STILL not reassembled. The one on the back edge of the school has been up for a month or two, so the entire school has to take turns on that playground. 

The skywalk to the school (you can see it in the picture above) is no longer there, it's been moved South about a quarter mile (see a newspaper article HERE). Now the kids (and anyone who wants to cross Bangerter) has to wander through the neighborhoods on either side. There are signs up about the detour ... I wonder how long they will leave them up. To me, "detour" indicates something temporary, but that's the way this is going to stay. I was really hoping that the little bit of extra walking would make us eligible for busing but so far we haven't heard anything. 

In the picture below, you can see the new overpass ... Bangerter going over 7800. The off-ramp is coming down pretty much where the playground used to be. There was a lot of construction on 7800 again too, tearing up the roads they just laid down a couple years earlier. Left turns weren't allowed out of the main parking lot ... at times, the main parking lot was completely closed off by construction.

 Then recently, they started on the front of the school property. The plan here was to fill in a retaining basin and then reassemble the playground there. They had to completely dig up the entire area, huge piles of dirt, big trucks, the entire area where the kids played soccer (the one recess activity left) was fenced off. Honey Bucket bathrooms positioned not 50 feet from the school entrance.

Taken from the main parking lot.

Taken from 7800 South

I got a text from a friend recently ... she asked "WHAT are they doing to your kid's school?" It really has been a hard year. Just keeping my fingers crossed that it will be able to finished soon, that our kids will have a safe place to play ... and I'd SO love a bus!

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