Provo residents protest construction of new MTC building with balloons


[media-credit id name=”Courtesy Paul Evans” align=”alignright” width=”224″][/media-credit]
Orange balloons will show the height of the proposed building
Picture orange helium balloons on 160 feet of string floating above houses in neighborhoods around Provo.

Saturday begins the kickoff of a petition drive in and around Provo’s Pleasant View neighborhood; the balloons will be passed out to residents protesting the height of the nine-story MTC building, which is planned to be completed in 2014.

Paul Evans, the chair of the Pleasant View Neighborhood, explained why residents want the MTC officials to reconsider.

“We want a family neighborhood quality, not an urban quality,” Evans said, “If one tall building comes, more will follow. The new MTC building is as tall as buildings in downtown Provo.”

The residents have been meeting regularly since the beginning of March to organize the petition effort. The goal of the petition is to convince MTC officials to choose an alternative to the nine-story building.

Another issue Evans said is the building is “not for the growth of the MTC,” but is a replacement for other buildings that are outdated.

The new building will be as tall as the Spencer W. Kimball Tower on BYU’s campus at 160 feet, and will be built where the Melvin J. Ballard building is currently located.

Residents of the neighborhood were invited by MTC officials to an explanatory meeting at the end of March to see renderings of the building and to discuss why the nine-story building was the most feasible option for the MTC. A website was also created to answer questions and get feedback about the construction of the new building.

Not appeased by the arguments for the building, local residents cited a previous agreement made by BYU officials that MTC buildings not exceed four stories. The goal Saturday is to dispense 160 balloons on 160 feet of string to visually illustrate the effect a building of that height would have on the community.

The balloons will be distributed in Provo at 1720 North Lambert Lane from 8 a.m. to noon.




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