FEMA, Utah DEM Release Inventory of Unreinforced Masonry Public School Buildings

February 10, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, FEMA and the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (Utah DEM) released an inventory of unreinforced masonry (URM) school buildings in the state. The inventory has been in development over the past decade to support state efforts to identify URM buildings of all types, which are at greater risk of damage in an earthquake compared to buildings constructed under modern building codes.

While this inventory represents a snapshot in time, it sets the stage for the next decade of important work among federal, state and local government and the communities they serve. This report embodies Utah’s vision for a better, stronger future. That future will happen through an orderly and thoughtful process of replacing or retrofitting URM schools and increasing seismic awareness.

The inventory was completed thanks to the collaboration of all 41 public school districts around the state. Through their coordination, we developed a more accurate and comprehensive inventory. Through their efforts, along with public cooperation, and support from the private sector, the inventory has been gradually reduced and will continue to be reduced over time.

Safer Schools Today

Sixty years ago, about 95 percent of schools were URMs. Today, that number is around 12 percent. This represents dramatic improvements to school safety. It also represents important investments by communities that have voted for bonds to rebuild or retrofit schools to mitigate earthquake damage. Utah should be proud of the progress already made. 

Even as recently as Wednesday, we learned that the Alpine School District has completed demolition of the Geneva School. The Provo School District announced that Dixon Middle School is scheduled to be replaced in 2024.

Across Utah, the URM project, conducted over the past decade, identified 119 school campuses statewide with URM construction. Just because a school is on the list, does not mean it is at an imminent risk of collapse. Validating and finalizing the statewide inventory of URM school buildings was the first recommendation and objective in the Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy, released by FEMA in March 2021.

The inventory will be available for download starting at 11 a.m. on February 10, 2022, at

What project leaders and partners are saying

“The unreinforced masonry school building inventory has been an ongoing project for several years. Through FEMA’s financial support we have been able to work closely with school districts to complete the inventory and finalize the report,” said Kris Hamlet, director of the Utah Division of Emergency Management. “We believe this transparency will help unite communities and identify resources to eventually fix or replace the remaining buildings and ultimately keep our students safer.”

“It is extremely satisfying to see this report published. It has been a long time coming and represents an important step forward in making Utah more resilient to damage from earthquakes,” said Keith Koper, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations Director and chair of Utah Seismic Safety Commission. “The collaboration and unity displayed by state agencies, federal agencies, local school districts, and the private sector in producing this report is admirable.”

“Utah has always built a culture of vision, improvement, preparedness, and resilience. This report is the result of an enormous effort from many people who care about earthquake preparedness,” said John Crofts, Utah Division of Emergency Management Earthquake Program Manager. “It is the first step towards increasing earthquake safety in our schools. We hope that this report will support the continued efforts to preserve life, property, and the environment, and to help Utah become an even stronger, more resilient state.” 

What is Unreinforced Masonry?

Unreinforced masonry — construction using brick or block without reinforcing steel or rebar — was common throughout Utah until seismic building codes became more prevalent in the 1970s. Such structures can more easily succumb to the movement and shaking during an earthquake, posing a threat to building occupants as well as individuals outside in close proximity to the structures. There are an estimated 140,000 such structures across the state, which encompass a wide variety of buildings, from individual homes, to businesses, to schools and houses of worship. Modern codes now require masonry construction to include reinforcing steel.

FEMA and the state of Utah recognize the importance of mitigation in reducing exposure to future losses from disasters. The National Mitigation Investment Strategy — published in August 2019 — was developed to help the nation be more intentional about setting resilience and mitigation investment priorities to benefit the whole community. The Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy was selected as a pilot project for this national effort in recognition of Utah’s acknowledgement of a serious seismic risk and dedication to finding solutions. Both the URM school inventory and the Wasatch Front Unreinforced Masonry Risk Reduction Strategy are available publicly at



For additional information:, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt (435) 615-0225

Sterling Scholars


PARK CITY, UT  (February 1, 2022) –  Park City High School recently selected the Class of 2022 Sterling Scholars. The Sterling Scholar award goes to high school graduating seniors, throughout the state of Utah, who have demonstrated excellence in one of 16 categories during their high school career. Founded by Steve Hale, reporter for the Deseret  News, in 1962, the title Sterling Scholar was chosen to mean excellence in scholarship and distinguishing oneself in academics. 

This year’s winners are: 

  • Jessica Sutherland – Vocal Performance 
  • Debbie Hsu – General 
  • Kate Kehoe – Social Science
  • Zerin Robertson – Computer Technology
  • Jamie Forchic – Visual Art
  • Mira Terry – Skilled & Tech. Education
  • Kate Beal – English 
  • Noam Levinsky – Debate 
  • Abby Miller – Family/Consumer Science
  • Zane Jensen – Instrumental Performance
  • Lizzie Richardson – Dance 
  • John Trahan – World Language
  • Jack Goodman – Math
  • Jude Trahan – Business / Marketing
  • Ryan Skidmore – Science
  • Tyler Peabody – Ag. Science

Student awardees are recognized for their extraordinary academic achievement, leadership and participation in community service opportunities through their Utah public high schools. 

The selected PCSD students will compete in the Northeast Regional Competition against other Utah high school students on Monday, March 21st; the winners will be announced in an online award ceremony on the evening of March 28. 


District Logo


For additional information:, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt

(435) 615-0225

Two PCHS Students Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

PARK CITY, UT (January 27, 2022) – Two Park City High School students were selected to sing at Carnegie Hall for the WorldStrides Honors Performance Series. 

Ali Kennedy, PCHS Senior, and Justin Zink, PCHS Sophomore, were nominated last year by the former PCHS choir director, Christin Abbott. The Honors Performance Series only invites 500 students of the nearly 10,000 student applications worldwide. 

Ali and Justin will join fellow student performers from the United States, Australia, Bermuda, China, Guam, and South Korea for a special performance at the world-famous Carnegie Hall, a venue that marks the pinnacle of musical achievement.

The finalists will come together in New York City for five days in February. They will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other finalists, and get a taste of New York City. Two performances, an Honors Instrumental Performance and Honors Choral Performance will take place Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 6 respectively, and are open to the public. 

“After having performances worldwide impacted for over a year, we are excited to be returning to the stage at Carnegie Hall,” said Marion Gomez, Program Director for the Honors Performance Series. “Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing.”  

According to Eva Marble, PCHS choir and orchestra director, the program brings students together from around the world to collaborate. 

“I am proud of Ali and Justin for putting in the work outside of class for this program, ” said Marble. “They will have the opportunity to work with master conductors and will spend most of their time in New York rehearsing for their performance on Sunday evening.  Ali and Justin have been preparing for their performance for months. They have spent countless hours learning their music and training their voices to sing with the best of the best next week.” 

The Honors Performance Series was established to feature talented student musicians in a once-in-a-lifetime performance on stage at Carnegie Hall. This opportunity is made possible by support and nominations from music educators across the world.   Learn more by visiting and


For additional information:, Exec Admin Asst to BOE/Supt

Utah Legislature Terminates Summit County Mask Mandate

PARK CITY, UT (January 21, 2021) —  The mask mandate in Summit County has been terminated after the Utah House voted Friday in favor of the SJR003 resolution passed earlier this week by the Senate.

Per the Summit County Health Department Director, Dr. Phil Bondurant, “The ongoing Omicron surge has impacted every aspect of our lives at home, at work, in our schools and our businesses… Our advisory message has not changed because the best practices have not changed: stay home if you are sick…and wear a mask in public indoor spaces to protect the health of others.” 

Our community’s schools adhere to the best practice guidance provided by the CDC/UDOH and will continue the layered mitigation strategies in place that include: increased sanitization of frequently touched surfaces, airscrubbers, misting overnight, increased airflow with frequent filter changes, reasserting that those who are feeling ill or symptomatic remain at home for adequate quarantine periods, localized contact tracing and exposure notices, voluntary student/staff testing at Eccles Lobby from 7:15-9:15 AM on school days, encourage frequent handwashing and physical distance as we continue to navigate and mitigate impacts of COVID19 as a community.

PCSD is committed to the health and well-being of all our students, teachers, staff and families. Thank you for your understanding and support as we traverse this ever-changing situation. As a school district we remain focused on the whole child to provide an environment that keeps our students safe, supported, engaged, challenged, and healthy. 


For additional information, contact:

Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to Superintendent and Board of Education

January 18, 2022

News from PCSD-BOE

by Erin Grady, BOE President

The Park City School District Board of Education will meet twice this month as we continue to address the impacts of COVID19 and the most current Omicron variant which currently has a high transmission rate community-wide. We continue to listen, learn, and navigate this challenging time together in support of our students, our staff, and our community.

At the conclusion of the regular meeting this evening, we learned that the Utah Senate had passed a resolution (SJR-3) 22-5 that would end the local Summit County and Salt Lake County mask mandates. That resolution has been forwarded to the House of Representatives for their consideration. On Wednesday, January 19, 2022 will begin the same way that today’s school day did – with full implementation and enforcement of the current Public Health Order of Constraint – a full county-wide mask mandate – until we hear otherwise.

In the event the mandate is terminated by Utah legislators, the CDC and the UDOH has continued its strong recommendations that all within the school environment wear face coverings for the foreseeable future. We continue to adjust and modify as the guidelines adapt.

During the regular Board of Education meeting, we heard an update from CAO, Dr. Amy Hunt, on the current work that is ongoing with the 5-year instructional strategic plan. It is exciting to hear the positive results that even some small, intentional shifts make in student outcomes and academic attainment. We are proud of the ongoing work of our educators, our staff, and our administrative team. Thank you.

The meeting also included an update on the Master Facility Plan and our work to meet/exceed minimum code requirements in “future ready” planning and thinking about school sites, energy consumption and a net zero goal, as well as escalating costs due to supply chain issues. And, we approved a Basin Rec easement at Trailside for a walking pathway near the field entrance.

The Board of Education has elected to host a work session on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 10:00 A.M. to continue its dialogue on ways to best support our educators and staff, consideration of budget adjustments as necessary to bolster substitute force, grant writing efforts to secure reimbursement funding for those who have missed school due to COVID, and future staffing needs.

We appreciate ongoing partnership and support of our parents and families, our educators and staff as well as the community. We are all in this together.

#Go Miners!


For additional information, contact:  Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to Superintendent and Board of Education

News from PCSD-BOE

by Erin Grady, BOE President 

The Park City School District Board of Education met twice this month.  We held a Remote Work Session on Monday, December 13 to hear from the design-build teams on their work to expand Park City High School, Ecker Hill Middle School and each of the 4 elementary schools.  The presentations highlighted some updated drawings, and it is exciting to see the implementation of the master plan beginning to take shape!

At the December Regular Business Meeting, MOCA, the Owner Representative for the Master Plan, summarized the work of the architect/design-build teams.  In addition, we approved travel requests, SCC Land Trust Plan amendments, and new course proposals proposed by PCHS faculty.  The Board of Education also authorized a resolution for the issuance and sales of $79,200,000 of the Bond proceeds so that work can continue on master facility plan implementation.  

We are looking forward to a safe return to the 2022 half of the school year and will incorporate a voluntary “Test to Start” program for those seeking COVID testing the first weeks back to school with COVID tests available from 7:15-9:15 AM at Eccles Lobby or at the Ecker Hill Middle School Aquatic Center for students and staff. 

The Board of Education extends its wishes for a warm holiday season to all.

#Go Miners!

Media Advisory Fentanyl WARNING for Students and Their Parents

Fentanyl WARNING for Students and Their Parents

Complete document can be viewed here

DRUG AWARENESS – It’s important for parents to know what drugs we are seeing in our community and in the hands of our youth. Drugs may come in candy/food packaging, pill form and liquid form. More and more drugs (in pill, powder and/or liquid form) are also being laced with the very deadly drug FENTANYL. If you suspect your youth are in possession of any kind of drug, please contact local law enforcement. Help us keep your children and our community safe. #SayNoToDrugs #summitcounty

Summit County Sheriff’s Office (435)615-3601
Park City Police Department (435)615-5500


For additional information contact Lorie Pearce, Executive Assistant to the BOE/Supt at

News from PCSD-BOE

         by Erin Grady,  President – Board of Education 

At the November 2021 Board of Education Meeting, President Grady opened the meeting with a statement on the PPES mask mandate, assured the public that the BOE and administrators have walked through each school in order to ensure schools are prepared for the mask mandate if tripped by case increases (elementary through middle school/junior high), and that there will not be another public comment on this matter as it is under investigation. 

PCEA made a shared a report on the handling of the concerns related to the mandate and acknowledged the safe and supportive school year that is underway.  

We heard an update on Academics where Dr. Hunt provided a special message of thanks for our Educational Support Personnel this month and highlighted the new Science curriculum.  Mr. Tanner, our COO, updated us on the work of the Safety/Security Committee that will meet tomorrow, open positions and hiring, master planning, as well as the capital budget development for FY23.  Dr. Gildea shared 5 H’s that we see throughout PCSD.

Mr. Hauber provided an overview of the school enrollment data, and the district’s schools are identified as “Closed” for the 22/23 school year based facility utilization.  Open Enrollment paperwork will be available 12/1/2021 for those interested in applying for any positions that are available within a grade level.  For those students already enrolled, they will move forward with their cohort. 

Dr. Sorenson shared information related to the updated Teacher Evaluation policy, and the Board of Education appreciates the committee that has worked across a couple of years to bring forward an aligned plan to the Instructional Framework.  Great teamwork!

As a Board Team, we’re reviewing policies that are up for 5-year or legal reference updates, and Dr. Sorenson will be working with educators and staff on any substantive changes or updates that may be needed. 


Board of Education Statement

To the Community:

We would like to reiterate that several of our schools are currently implementing the mask mandate issued by the Summit County Health Department. Communication from the Board and District will continue with all relevant and important communications  posted on the District newsroom web page.  Each school homepage lists out the current number of COVID cases at the school as well as if the mask mandate has been triggered. 

We continue to encourage our families to cooperate with the enforcement of the mask mandate and please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school administrator with any questions. 

As always we are here to represent our constituents and will respond to questions and concerns via our PCSD email. If you would like to communicate with the District directly please email us at

Please accept all of our best wishes for a Happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Park City Board of Education 

Board of Education Letter

November 15, 2021

To the community,

For the past two years, the Park City School District has focused and prioritized the safety and health of the students and staff while also keeping our schools open for in-person learning. We have spent countless hours adjusting to ever-changing guidance and laws on the local, state and national level with regards to the COVID19 Pandemic. 

The Summit County Health Department conducted four separate compliance site visits at Parley’s Park starting last Monday, November 8th at 10 am in light of the County’s Public Health Order. Every walk-through has shown that Parley’s Park has been in compliance with the mask mandate issued in accordance with the Order. We have included a report from SCHD for your review. Report can be viewed here.

After continued evaluation, Parley’s Park Elementary School staff, administration, and students have been found to be in compliance with all protocols outlined in the Public Health Order 2021-02.

Additional inspections will be conducted at the discretion of the Summit County Health Department.

The conclusion  is that “PPES has taken necessary measures with staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and the physical environment to ensure compliance with the Public Health Order.” 

We are actively preparing each of our school sites that fall under the Public Health Order to ensure compliance if a mandate is to be triggered. Those school sites include McPolin, Jeremy Ranch Elementary, Ecker Hill Middle School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School.  Parley’s Park remains in a mask mandate until further notice.  Trailside Elementary School has initiated its first mask mandate November 15, 2021.

We want to thank the community for continuing to partner with us to ensure our children stay safe, healthy and in school especially as we enter the winter months.

Erin, Wendy, Anne, Kara, Andrew