PROVO – A new school bond is on the ballot this November, and many members of the community are divided over the proposal.
The Provo District School Board is visiting different parts of the community to explain the bond to those with concerns.
Timpview High, Dixon Middle School, Wasatch Elementary, and several more schools will receive funding for renovations from the proposal. The bond will cost tax payers $245 million which will equal an extra $264 a year peaking in 2026.
“Why Timpview? It was built in 1975. It was not scheduled to be a part of this bond,” said Mark Wheeler, the director of facilities for Provo.
Timpview accounts for over half of the cost of the bill at $145 million. A relatively new school, it was built on poor soil with a heavy cement roof. This has led to cracking walls, a sinking building, and even a cinderblock in a classroom. “We knew we had a problem with the red flags we were seeing,” Mark Wheeler continued.
“You can see the cracks as you walk through the hallways… and that makes me nervous for all the kids,” said Ali Conger, a member of the community.
In 2014, Timpview was not scheduled to be on the bond, but due to a cinderblock falling into a classroom in 2017 schedules had to change.
Another one of the big controversies is that Dixon middle school, which was built in 1931, is being scheduled to move neighborhoods. Many people in the community are questioning why.
The school board’s answer is saving $10 million, a quicker construction, and larger facilities.
Another concern shared by all the schools is the safety of school portables in the case of any sort of gun violence.
Without cameras or even a proper speaker system in portables at most schools, members of the community feel students are vulnerable. According to school board members, they believe this will be solved, at least partly, while rebuilding the schools.
The bond will be on the ballot in November, so if you want to vote, you’ll need to mail in a voter registration form before next Monday, October 7th.
Another informational meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday October 3rd, at Dixon Middle School, and the public is invited.