Granite School District is studying potential closure of an elementary school

Jul 12, 2023, 8:30 PM

FILE: Granite School District offices are pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. ...

FILE: Granite School District offices are pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. The district is studying the potential closure of one of its elementary schools. (Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Tuesday, the Salt Lake City School Board announced it would study seven schools for potential closure. Now, the Granite School District is looking at a possible school closure of its own.

Ben Horsley, spokesman for the Granite School District, joined KSL NewsRadio Wednesday afternoon to discuss the situation.


“We’re in the midst of a year-long study,” Horsley said. “This process started actually way back in February. We were on that study on a calendar year process. And so, the scope of that study was initially broad.”

Horsley says school board voted on Tuesday night to continue the study, but to narrow it one school. That school is Western Hills Elementary School in Kearns.

Is this a regular occurrence for Granite School District?

Horsley is asked if this is a process the district goes through on a regular basis?

“Yeah. We’ve lost about 8,000 kids over the last decade or so,” he said. “And we need to close about 10 to 12 elementary schools over that next time, next decade or so.”

He says the district has already closed six schools. Last December, the district voted to close other three schools. Horsley also says the district closed three additional schools in previous years.

“So, we’re just kind of working through this process,” he said. “I anticipate that as we finish this study, a decision will be made on this particular closure later on this year.”

Horsley was asked, “What was the criteria the district used to make that decision about this one school?”

He says there are several factors taken into account, including the age of the facility and the number of students in the area.

“It is tremendously difficult to close schools,” he said. “Which is why we take a lot of time going through and working with our community.”

Horsley says if the Board moves forward with this recommendation, a decision on the school closure wouldn’t come until next November or December. The closure would not occur next spring. 

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Granite School District is studying potential closure of an elementary school