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New West Jordan Middle School Replaces 60-Year-Old Structure

WEST JORDAN, Utah – Students at West Jordan Middle School will begin classes in a new building, just feet from where the building bearing the same name for six decades is demolished.

The 60-year-old school is no more, and on Tuesday morning students will be stepping into the brand new school, full of the latest designs and high tech safety features.

“We went from having the worst kitchen in the school district to the very best,” Principal Dixie Garrison told KSL during a tour of the new school. “Look at the light that comes in here and the vaulted ceilings.”

Home to more than 1200 students, the new building replaces the old one, which sits just feet away and is still in the process of being demolished.

Garrison also likes how there is one main hallway that goes north to south. It’s big enough that you can see from one end to the other.

“For safety purposes to be able to see from one end to the other it’s just awesome for supervision,” she said.

The huge metal doors that feed into the classroom areas off of the main hallway can also automatically shut by a simple swipe of a card. That would then seal off the classroom areas should someone dangerous make it to the hallway.

“Heaven forbid if somebody was to walk into the front of the school, I swipe a lock-down card and these learning communities would be sealed off,” said Garrison.

Getting into the school is nothing like the old school. Visitors must all check into the front office before any entry into the school. In the old school, people could roam the hallways on their way to the office.

It was a much different scene then when Garrison’s father was a principal at West Jordan Middle School in the 80s. He watched over the school for six years from 1980 to 1986.

“It’s an honor. I always feel like my dad’s with me, and my dad is proud of me,” said Garrison.

Besides all the safety features, Garrison is excited about a whole new look of desk, chairs and other furnishings she helped pick out herself – like curved desks that you can actually write on, and the latest in TVs and visual aid equipment.

The hallways are also spacious, and huge windows allow for plenty of light.

“At the old school, we had a lot of little dark nooks and crannies and stairways where things would go on,” said Garrison.

Most importantly, Garrison says, are the students – a legacy her father left behind.

“He made everyone feel important, and what I learned from that, is that everyone is important,” said Garrison who will began the school year with 320 more students than last year.

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