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Ogden school officials: New home needed for alternative high school

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Mar 15, 2023

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

George Washington High School at 455 28th St. in Ogden is pictured Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Ogden School District is considering options for replacing the current school building, either by building anew or relocating to another facility.

The Ogden School District is coming up on some big decisions over how to serve students at the rundown George Washington High School.

District officials are pondering options that include tearing down and replacing the 65-year-old building that has numerous problems, building a new structure at a different site or moving into an empty elementary school building.

The school is an alternative education facility for students who need to catch up on their credits in order to graduate. An adult education program is also offered to those seeking high school equivalency.

“The school is designed for students not experiencing success in the traditional model,” said George Washington High School Principal and Adult Education Director Joshua Bell. “We don’t just focus on getting them to graduation. We also focus on their future and getting them placed in postsecondary schools. Our students are very resilient. Some of them come to us under circumstances and environments beyond their control and yet they’re still trying and they’re still succeeding and we have the privilege of celebrating in those successes. Now we just need another place to call home.”

The existing building, located at 455 28th St., was originally built as Lewis Elementary School. In the past few years, several improvements have been made, including installing new carpet, a fence and a security system, Bell said.

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

George Washington High School at 455 28th St. in Ogden is pictured Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Ogden School District is considering options for replacing the current school building, either by building anew or relocating to another facility.

“We’ve had some meetings with architects and planning firms where the district has started to think of some conceptual designs,” Bell said. “We’ve made some improvements for the time being. Safety was paramount, so we put a doorbell system at the front door so we can control who is in our building at any given time.”

But the need for a building that will serve the environment of the students who attend is long overdue.

“While we’ve made some investments into improving the facility, the likelihood is that in the near future, there’s a pretty strong chance we’ll either be relocating to a different facility or we could be constructing a new facility that would house the high school students as well as our adult education program,” said Ogden School District spokesman Jer Bates.

A third option, Bates said, would be to remove the program from its own separate facility and relocate it back into the public high schools.

“The students coming from Ogden and Ben Lomond high schools were just staying there, but they would be learning in the George Washington High School program,” Bates said.

Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner

George Washington High School at 455 28th St. in Ogden is pictured Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Ogden School District is considering options for replacing the current school building, either by building anew or relocating to another facility.

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