Provo School District expects to break ground for the new Provo High School within the next month, with a completion date on track for fall 2018. The sale of the existing school is still in the works.
Last fall, the school district announced that it had been approached about selling Provo High, which it had planned to rebuild at the existing site using money from a bond passed in 2014. It studied the issue, then announced that it would sell the school and build a new school in west Provo. At the time, the district had hired an architect for the rebuild, who had met with stakeholders and teachers, studied the current building and done a needs assessment.
“The worst thing we could do for our taxpayers and patrons in Provo was to rush the sale of the property.” —Julie Rash, Provo School Board president
School board president Julie Rash said the board realized that it had to separate the two events, to make sure taxpayers got the best deal on both counts. The board decided it wanted to slow down to get the best offer on the existing property on University Avenue — “the worst thing we could do for our taxpayers and patrons in Provo was to rush the sale of the property.” But it needed to move forward with construction at the new high school site in west Provo, because “construction inflation goes up by the minute.”
So board members told the district’s facilities director, administration and architect to move forward with construction at 1300 N. Lakeshore Drive, she said. The district had already gone out to bid for a contractor to rebuild the existing Provo High on Freedom Boulevard, so it didn’t have to re-do that part of the process.
As for the sale, Rash said the district is making progress but can’t say much more. She said they understand that Provo High is important to the community.
“As a board we’re being very careful with this,” she said. “We know that it’s a really big deal.
“I’m optimistic that the community will be supportive and happy with the results of all this.”