Park City High School expansion to allow more professional and technology career opportunities for students

Park City High School offers its students opportunities for programs and certificates most students in a public education system would only get to dream of, and after the first phase of its current construction process, the list of those programs will grow.

Many of the programs within the school’s Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies and Career and Technology Education programs are only limited by the amount of space they can take up within the school. Once more space is allotted for different programs through the current district-wide, $150 million expansion project, many of those limitations will dissipate.

Even now, students can take courses that teach physical therapy, nursing, video production, 3D printing, architectural design, construction and a host of other skills that can prove beneficial for kids looking to find a suitable career field or build upon foundational skills for more advanced degrees. Students can even become drone pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, and the school owns three high-end flight simulators that allow them to experience flying a plane without the risk of crashing it.

“All of CTE will relocate into Phase 1 once it’s completed,” CTE/PCCAPS Director Lyndsay Huntsman explained. The phase is scheduled to be finished by the end of July, in time for the 2024-25 school year.

The new space will also come with new opportunities for students who want to dip their feet in different career fields and experiences without dipping their hands into their wallets for tuition for post-high school education.



“The added opportunities is we will have a fully operational commercial kitchen for our culinary arts pathway, which we have not had in the past,” Huntsman explained. “We’ve had your standard domestic kitchen where you’re just learning how you cook a meal at home. … The commercial kitchen will allow them to see what it’s like to work in the back of the house in a restaurant or a resort and hopefully start to build a pipeline of skilled workers for our resorts here in Park City. We’ll have a construction lab, which is attached to a classroom, so kids could actually design something using software and then go out and actually build it. Our long-term goal is to look at tiny homes and or sheds, so kids are having a full experience in terms of what does it look like to design and then actually build something and then see it placed on a site.”

This will include not just basic design elements but each step of framing, roofing, electric work — “the whole gamut,” as Huntsman put it, “just at a smaller scale.”

Already, Huntsman said there’s a small-scale course that teaches kids some of the smaller ins and outs of construction at Treasure Mountain Junior High School. The high school program will take the experience to a new level, pushing students to design and construct an entire structure rather than only focusing on individual aspects like tiling.

While Park City High School Principal Roger Arbabi has worked hard to ensure all students who attend his campus have collegiate opportunities and are given a seat at the table in advanced placement classes that can work toward college credits, he also emphasized how the CTE programs present other options to students whose chosen life paths may not include college.

“We want to make sure that the kids know that there are options out there for them, and the college pathway isn’t necessarily the right choice for every student, but we also recognize that we are living in a really affluent (area) where the majority of our students do go on to college,” he said. “We also have a large percentage of our students that’s not a pathway that they want. … We want to make sure that we provide a broad, educational opportunity for all of our students. We want to make sure that not everybody’s going to want to be a lawyer.”

The CTE programs, Huntsman said, allow students a chance to figure out what they want to do before investing too much into what they could find to be the wrong path for them. And, according to data she provided, 74% of the district’s 2022-23 students from grades 6-12 used the opportunity and enrolled in at least one CTE course.

As well as allowing more space for the school’s extensive CTE programs, the high school’s expansion project will also make room for ninth graders to attend the high school with their 10-12th grade peers rather than Treasure Mountain, where they currently enroll with the district’s eighth graders.

The original article published by Park Record can be found here.