Blue Skies and excitement in the air was the setting for the recent celebration of dedicating three new classroom buildings at Soldier Hollow Charter School (SHCS), in Midway, Utah. The new buildings were designed to fit perfectly into the stunning mountain terrain. The school is recognized for its unique learning environment for K-8th grades.
In early 2007 the SHCS Board started investigating ways to expand the school, as the existing space was limited to about 150 students. The Board proposed to build three multi-use modular classroom buildings with large decks. The new buildings would give the school room to grow comfortably to about 250 students.
Chris Willis. SHCS Board President stated, “With everyone on board, the big issue was financing. Unfortunately, global economic crisis hit with full force at that time making lending options scarce. Despite the school’s strong financial history, we had been turned down by at least 20 local and national banks, credit unions, and even several lenders that specialized in charter schools.” That’s when USDA Rural Development lent a helping hand with a Community Facilities Direct Loan. Without USDA, this project could not have happened as we envisioned it.” With financing obtained, the project went into construction.
“The USDA Rural Development loan was a lifesaver for our project,” said Kimberly Gilboy, SHCS Board Member, and Project Manager. “We’ve been thrilled to see federal stimulus money filtering down to our community. This project put numerous people back to work. I think there were at least 100 construction professionals who worked on various aspects of our buildings.”
The Dedication program started off with a Flag presentation from Dave Conine, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Utah. He presented the flag to the “Green Student Council members,” who in turn posted the colors on the new building. Then the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all. The second and third grade school choir sang “Hope of America,” and “I Love America.” A new catchy tune was composed and sung for the occasion by a parent, Jeanie Logan.
State Director Conine congratulated all those involved. “I can’t think of any better way to invest our tax dollars than in our education system. You young people are the hope of our nation and education makes that happen.”