The New School Year Leaves SPA Uncertain


Zoe Arnsten

SPA is currently located at the former Rosslyn Heights Elementary School building.

Kayta Guillory, Claire Sophie Malinka-Thompson, Staff Writer, Editor

After district leaders chose not to renew the lease of their current building, Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts (SPA) might be relocating downtown this summer. SPA currently resides in the former Rosslyn Heights Elementary School, a quick three minute bus ride to Highland High School, where most SPA kids take their core academic classes.

However, the building has extensive problems, particularly a fully broken ventilation system and a faulty electrical system. After years putting up with uncomfortable temperatures and a patchwork of expensive repairs, the board decided that the building is too old to economically renovate. 

It was time for a move. 

It will be a big change for SPA, who already saw major staff changes earlier this year. The most surprising departure was the Principal of the school, who left mid-year. The second piece of news that the school team received was that another counselor left shortly after.  Despite these drastic shifts in administration, teachers are optimistic about the move.

“This, in my opinion, is the best change we could have,” said Nathan Gentry, SPA’s film and photography teacher. “It’s just hard because nobody likes moving. I’m excited for this and I think everybody who’s wanting to go to SPA next year should be excited by this move.”

SPA is closing in on a deal to purchase a new building downtown: the historic Oquirrh School. While the move isn’t official, it is already allowing teachers and students to imagine what life will look like next year. In Gentry’s opinion, SPA will gain some much needed freedom in the upcoming school year.  

“This is the best situation that I think we can have,” Gentry said. “This is SPA’s opportunity to not be the baby sister to Highland, but for SPA to finally be its own entity.”

Despite the many different rumors floating around about the reasons, the location, and the future, one thing is certain. SPA will be gaining a much needed update. The students and teachers can say goodbye to the small classrooms. 

Unfortunately for the populace of the school, the school year is almost over, and there is still extreme uncertainty about where they will be next year. Only a few months separate the students between Rosslyn Heights and a shiny new location, despite the lack of available information. 

Indeed, next year is quickly approaching. But rest assured, SPA students can take comfort in the knowledge that they will no longer have to return to the crumbling building from the past.