Lehi residents protest construction of Utah Military Academy

Posted at 9:37 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 08:51:37-05

LEHI, UTAH -- A group of Lehi residents is protesting a new school being built in their neighborhood Tuesday.

According to the group, the Utah Military Academy never got approval from the city for a new campus, and once complete, it's going to cause a number of safety concerns.

"We support the mission of our veterans and our military, it is not the issue of the school it's 110 percent the site location," said resident Mathew Vierig.

The charter school broke ground last week on a five-acre lot on the corner of Center Street and Pioneer Crossing. The plan is to funnel up to 600 students, in cars, through the residential neighborhood, known as Lehi Ranches, on a daily basis.

"These kids are out here every day, I worry a little bit as they are running out in the street," said resident Chris Foster.

Lehi City said they have the same concerns. The planning commission never actually approved this project, yet the academy is already enrolling students for next school year.

"We did contact them on Friday and let them know that our position was that they do still have some process to go through before they can begin construction," said Kim Struthers, Community Development Coordinator.

The Utah Military Academy said being a school, their number one priority is always safety.

"We are very thoughtful about the concerns, we're confident that bringing all the minds together working with the state as well as the city and a third-party engineer that we are close to a very sound solution," said Executive Director Matt Throckmorton.

Residents said the city and neighborhood are being pushed around.

"We feel like we are being pressured right now by the Utah Military Academy to change our way of living, to change the landscape and safety for our kids," said resident Levi Kohler.

Lehi City expects this issue to go before the planning commission at some point in February for an official vote.