Provo District lacks funds to fix schools

Feb 4, 2020, 1:40 PM

children virus Utah schools reopen racism in school...

SLCPD reminds drivers to be safe around students and busses. (Photo: John Wojcik, KSL NewsRadio)

(Photo: John Wojcik, KSL NewsRadio)

PROVO, Utah — The Provo City School District currently has about $10.5 million in funds available to address repair needs at three schools. Taken on its own, that seems like a hefty chunk of change. Unfortunately, there’s close to $77 million in needs at Timpview High School, Dixon Middle School and Wasatch Elementary School. Simply put, the Provo School District doesn’t have enough money right now to fix Provo schools.

Pushing it down the road

That figure is taken from a January 28 board of education meeting. The district’s director of facilities, Mark Wheeler, explained the urgency of their problems.

“If we keep pushing this stuff down the road, it’s irresponsible,” he says.

He’s more than likely referencing a $245 million bond that was proposed last year, but failed in November.

The Daily Herald reports a majority of the bond money, around $145 million, would have gone towards rebuilding Timpview High School. Officials say the building is deteriorating, because of rough winters that have caused the soil underneath to shift.

A draft report last month showed the building had settled up to 5.5 inches. For context, most modern buildings are designed to handle about one-and-a-half inches of settlement.

$55 million of the bond money would have gone towards relocating and rebuilding Dixon Middle School, while $30 million was intended for the rebuild of Wasatch Elementary School.

The remaining $15 million was to be divvied up between an addition at Westridge Elementary School and for security upgrades.

Identifying another option

Wheeler says the various projects have been simply put-off, because it was long assumed the schools would all be rebuilt.

“We shouldn’t be talking about Dixon and Wasatch,” he explains. “Those two schools should have been rebuilt 20 years ago.”

Of course, leaders say there’s a “Plan B” if they can’t fix Provo schools.

The board may still choose to vote to close Timpview High School. One option would be to bring students to Provo High School, but that would require overlapping student schedules. Additionally, it creates a possible bussing problem.

“The transportation alone would be a logistical nightmare,” says the district’s business administrator, Stefanie Bryant.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

taylor swift performing eras tour concert, a new class at weber state focuses on swift...


Weber State University to offer class on Taylor Swift this fall

The Weber State University Taylor Swift class was offered for the first time this spring and filled up quickly.

6 hours ago

cellphone schools...

Peter Johnston

Bill that would remove competency test requirement for teachers looks ready to pass

Currently, those pursuing a teaching license in Utah are required to pass a classroom management test. However, it could disappear from Utah's teaching licensure requirements if a bill passes the Senate this week.

10 hours ago

After starting the new year with poor air quality, Utah may finally be able to take a breath and fi...

Heather Peterson

New black carbon sensor is more portable but just as accurate, study finds

A new study from the University of Utah finds that recently released black carbon new units are just as accurate in detecting black carbon, but they are more portable and affordable.

13 hours ago

A lone American flag waves in the morning breeze Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2002, at the Bonneville Salt F...

Allessandra Harris

Water may be the solution to saving the salt flats

With the Bonneville Salt Flats eroding, newly discovered research may have found a way to save them.

4 days ago

utah capitol pictured, a new law centers adoption legal expenses open records utah...

Curt Gresseth

Bill creating Utah AI lab advances, would test tech, prevent missteps

SB 149 would create an AI lab and test technology while protecting the public in Utah.

5 days ago

The block U appears on the University of Utah, the school will no longer require sat or act scores...

Heather Peterson

University of Utah indefinitely pauses SAT and ACT admissions requirements

The University of Utah paused its SAT and ACT requirements two years ago, but the policy has now been extended indefinitely.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Provo District lacks funds to fix schools