Because the Provo School Board decided to build a new Provo High School independent of selling the school’s current campus, there’s no rush to accept an offer on the property.
Several months ago the school board announced that it had been approached by a reputable buyer about selling the property. And now Caleb Price, district spokesman, said there have been multiple offers for prime real estate on University Avenue. But as part of an agreement with those prospective buyers, the district won’t disclose any information about them, and there’s no deadline for a decision.
“We want to make sure we do everything right,” Price said. “We’re working to negotiate with the interested parties.”
According to the district, the superintendent met with Intermountain Healthcare a year before the bond election to gauge interest in buying the school property. An appraisal showed that price wasn’t high enough to make it a viable option. He also met with another institution, which wasn’t interested — the district’s not disclosing who that was.
People in the community have speculated that BYU is one of the interested parties.
Once the sale is complete, the district will put the proceeds into its capital fund, according to the district website. Some may be added to the Provo High construction budget, and some may be used to buy land for a new elementary school and other needed projects.
And there’s no deadline set yet for moving the high school to the site at 1300 N. Lakeshore Drive, Price said.
After Provo voters in 2014 approved a $108 million bond to, in part, rebuild Provo High School, the plan was to have that construction done in fall 2018. Price said that’s still the goal date for finishing the new school, but nothing is set.
“There’s no definitive timeline yet,” he said. “Now that the site has been located, we’re working on it with architects and engineers to get that nailed down.”
Before getting the original offer and deciding to build at a new location, the district had hired an architect, who had met with stakeholders and teachers, studied the current building and done a needs assessment. Price said most, if not all, that work can be transferred to the new site.