The board has consulted with various experts to evaluate the potential for renovating, preserving, or moving the house in its current state. Unfortunately, due to its structural issues, its non-standard foundation, and multiple non-conforming additions that were done over time, renovation would be prohibitively expensive and ultimately impractical. The house also lacks the space and functionality necessary to accommodate full classrooms, including a library and bringing it up to code would require substantial financial investment. While the board acknowledges the historical significance of the property, it was reviewed by experts in the field and determined that it was not a "historical structure" due to its multiple (and modern) additions over time. In addition, four years ago it was on the market for over a year with no interest from the city or other parties now coming forward to advocate for the house to be listed on the historic register.
Mountainville's tax-exempt status eliminates any tax-related benefits from retaining the property. Given the financial and logistical challenges, the school board has decided that removal is the best course of action for our students and the school. We can assure you that this decision was not taken lightly. However, we are considering a monument and/or preservation of some of the bricks and stones for future historical purposes.
Given our plans for removal of the building, the Lone Peak Fire district requested access to further their training for the community. We believe in promoting safety and being good neighbors in our community.
Unlike city council representatives, as board members, we are "responsible for successfully ensuring the academic and personal excellence of the students of Mountainville Academy (MA), that the school's programs and operation are faithful to the terms of its charter, and that the school is a viable organization." Our decision has been made in accordance with the best interest of the school.
Our school was designed to honor the look of the original Mountainville school. There is a monument to the original school in Alpine, when it was torn down by the Alpine district. While we look to the past, we also want to give our students the best opportunities in the future by making the best use of the property.
We appreciate your understanding and concerns regarding this difficult decision. The board remains committed to preserving the rich history of Mountainville while ensuring the best possible learning environment for our students while ensuring the school's fiduciary and liability responsibilities.
The Mountainville Academy Board