PROVO, Utah -- Voters in Provo next week will be asked to spend more than $100 million to build five new schools in the city, including a new high school.
The proposed $108 million bond would pay for the demolition of Provo High School, four nearby elementary schools and the complete rebuild of each school.
“We learned from engineers and architects that the average age of a school is 50 years, so it's not like we are asking for something unreasonable,” said Jennifer Partidge, chairwoman of the Facility Advisory Committee “They've lived their life and it's time for new ones.”
Principals and teachers say they're dealing with leaky ceilings, asbestos, bad pipes and most concerning, they say, structural problems.
For the first couple years the school board expects taxes would increase $2-3 per month for an average home, priced at $210,000, but that will continue to increase over the life of the bond to a maximum of $9.24 per month.
Local businesses would pay $16.80 per month.
“I know we are asking a lot of the patrons of Provo School District, and the Provo community. But I just keep thinking someone did it for us for us to attend these schools. And now it's time for us to do if for them and their kids,” said Michelle Kaufusi, Board President of Provo City School District.
One opponent of the bond, Sandy Packard, said the district should first look at setting new school boundaries before building.
“I think they should do more research. And I think they should have before they go out for the bond,” she said.
But district officials say they have studied issues surrounding the bond for two years and feel the climate within the community is favorable for a bond.