ST. GEORGE — Washington County School District’s latest intermediate school will be welcoming over 800 students to a new campus Monday.
Washington Fields Intermediate will host its first day of instruction for its sixth and seventh grade students with the rest of the county on Aug. 12.
Steven Dunham, the Washington County School District communication and public relations director, said the new location is meant to combat overcrowding within the rapidly growing county.
Three new campuses have been constructed to help “relieve pressure” for the schools in the Desert Hills cone site, which encompasses Little Valley and Washington Fields, Dunham said, adding that Sunrise Ridge Heights Intermediate, for example, enrolled more than 1,200 students but is meant to house 1,000.
“We’re significantly over capacity there,” he said. “Washington Fields Intermediate opening this year will take about 600 students away from that.”
Washington County has seen an increase of almost 2,000 students from May 2018 to the same time this year. The district now has just under 33,000 students, including preschool students. Dunham said a lot of the growth is coming from the Little Valley and Washington Fields area.
Washington Fields Intermediate, which costs over $23 million, began construction in 2017. It was preceded by Crimson Cliffs Middle School and will share the same opening date as Crimson Cliffs High School, both of which are able to house 1,000 and 1,500 students, respectively.
With the new schools comes new bussing and walking boundaries for students, and these changes can have significant impacts on students. Washington Fields Intermediate has seven buses for eligible students.
The state of Utah only allows the district to provide transportation to students who live 2 miles or more from the school. Students living less than 2 miles from campus, which Dunham said is often more populous than the areas on the outskirts of school boundaries, are able to bike or walk to school.
Overall, Dunham said faculty and staff are looking forward to seeing students enjoy the new building.
The school district is also currently working on a new elementary school. Construction is projected to finish by the start of the 2020-21 school year.
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