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The purpose of this bond is Safety. The decision for the Provo City School District Board of Education whether or not to run a school reconstruction bond in 2019 was a difficult one. The board had hoped to put off additional construction in the district, but the safety of our students means action cannot be delayed. Recorded soil movement at Timpview HS in Spring 2017 required the board to consider whether a new bond would be required to address Timpview and other needs. A 30+ member Facilities Advisory Committee was convened that year to study Timpview and other prospective needs. The board held information-sharing/public input meetings throughout the district in late 2018 and early 2019. After months of consideration and research, recommendations from structural engineers, and inspections by state agencies and school facilities professionals, the board made the decision to proceed with this bond. In the words of State Risk Management: “Given what the district knows, it should make every effort to eliminate promptly the structural threats that are present at Timpview HS for the safety of students, faculty, staff and the community.”
Wasatch Elementary, Dixon Middle School, and Westridge Elementary are also part of this bond. Wasatch was built in 1949 and is deteriorating beyond the ability to be cost-effectively repaired. Dixon is in a similar situation, with the original building dating back to 1931. Its current systems (roofing, HVAC, etc.) are failing. Dixon’s current site is also only 7.33 acres, where the state recommendation is close to 30 acres. This bond will rebuild Dixon on approximately 21 acres of district-owned land adjacent to Footprinters’ Park in SW Provo. This section of Provo has been part of the 2010 city master plan, with improved roads, sewers, etc. Westridge Elementary has been one of our largest elementary schools for many years, and the growing enrollments have been accommodated by adding portables, most of which are nearing the end of their useful life. This bond includes a new wing at Westridge that will house 10-12 new classrooms, replacing the portables.
Finally, the Board wants to address school security needs across the district, and this bond will include $5M to add safety and security enhancements to 10 remaining schools.
The Board of Education believes the proposed projects are necessary for student safety and are fiscally responsible to taxpayers by reducing tax-funding needs over time. Construction inflation has been running at approximately 6 to 8% per year and we currently expect interest rates to be approximately 3.4% over the life of the bonds. Please vote yes on this important initiative to ensure safe schools for Provo students. Please also see safekidsprovo.org for more information.
Provo City School District Board of Education
(No argument against the bonds was received by the statutory deadline)
A public meeting was held to present the arguments on September 23, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at 280 West 940 North, in Provo, Utah.