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Provo Is Rebuilding 5 Schools for $100 Million. Park City Gets 1 1/3 Schools for $50 Million

An incensed reader wrote to me about a $108 million school bond approved in Provo late last year. She said, “How in the he** does Provo rebuild 5 schools for $100 million when we get 1 new school and an addition to the High School for $50 million. Are we paying Park City prices for our schools too?”

It does seem interesting. The Provo School District is rebuilding Provo High (about 1650 student) and four elementary schools as part of the project. The high school has 4 wings and they are tearing down and rebuilding one at a time. Each of the elementary schools are being completely torn down and rebuilt.

What’s equally as interesting is why they are rebuilding their schools. It appears most of these schools are 50-60 years old. In the case of Provost Elementary, “an employee goes to work an hour and a half early every Monday morning to turn on the water so it’s not brown when the kids arrive.” In Park City’s case, Treasure Mountain was built in 1983 (32 years old) and was renovated in the late 90’s. We are tearing it down because it is “cursed” and has bad pipes. Reading that, and comparing the two, it makes me feel like we are a bunch of spoiled, rich kids. Incredible.

So, I don’t know what to more upset about. Should I be more upset that we seem to want to tear down a school that has some issues but in the scheme of things probably isn’t that bad, or should I be more upset that we are paying a fortune to do it. I’ll probably just hate the decision for all of the above.

Lest you think Provo is just a bunch of “Choose the Right”ers with awful education, and so they can afford to cheap out on schools, I’ll remind you that Provo has the top high school (Timpview) in Utah according to US News and World Reports. So, they seem to know what they are doing.

There are just so many things that are wrong with the process we are heading down. I’ve been watching the Park City School District Master Planning process since January, so i know how we got to where we are. That said, where we are is starting to look like a very bad place.


1 Comment


Not sure where to add this comment, so I’ll add it here. Is the school board really thinking about growth and capacity with this school redesign process? Here’s a thought – what if all the eligible kids in-district that don’t attend a PCSD school today suddenly wanted to? How many kids are there that live in-district that attend Weilenmann, Park City Day School, Rowland Hall, or go to one of the several Montessori school? My guess is there are hundreds. Given this population, the PCSD is already well over-capacity.

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