PROVO -- Plans for a new stadium at Provo High School have been in the works for some time, but for now they'll settle for a new scoreboard on the football field.
When the new Provo recreation center is complete next year, the school will lose some indoor facilities like public restrooms because they're located in the city pool building, which will close. Principal Jeff Schoonover said the new scoreboard was the first step toward a new facility. A committee of alumni and current school parents raised thousands of dollars through a the newly organized Bulldogs Remember committee. The committee came together to help celebrate Provo High School's 100th birthday and to see what they could do to help their alma mater.
The scoreboard came in at approximately $28,000 with the remainder of the funds to be used at Schoonover's discretion for the school. The scoreboard lights went on for the first time at Friday's homecoming game.
"When they saw the lights turn on it was wonderful. It gave energy to the crowd and that's important," committee co-chairwoman Mitzi Collins said.
Michelle Kaufusi, a board of education member, acted as a parent and alumni to help get the ball rolling. "When Jeff Schoonover was hired as the new principal, I asked what can we do to help. He said we're needing a new scoreboard."
Kaufusi organized the Bulldogs Remember committee, which was comprised of Kaufusi and her husband Steve, Rob and Mitzi Collins, Paul and Catherine Sagers, Stephen and Jeri Covey, Kirk and Marilyn Chambers, David and Natalie Tanner, Robbie and Karen Bosco and Scott and Kimberly Lohner.
"Great things began to happen," Kaufusi said.
Mitzi Collins said five members of the committee graduated from Timpview High School and live in the Provo High area and vice versa.
"It helped the schools come together and build bridges," she said.
Even though he is football coach at Spanish Fork High School, Kirk Chambers and his wife Marilyn donated $5,000 to the cause. Chambers graduated from Provo High in 1997, played football at Stanford and played in the NFL for seven years.
"I always planned on giving back to Provo High," Chambers said. He knew of a grant-matching program to help high schools through the NFL's office in New York. It matched the Chamberses's donation.
To help the school with other projects and to maintain the sign, businesses can advertise on the scoreboard for $1,000 a section with a three-year commitment.
While Kaufusi was not involved with handling the money, she noted that all the funds were handled through the Provo District Foundation and in the case of matching grants, directly with the school.
"It was important to do it through the foundation so we could show that it works. It was good for me to see as a board member," Kaufusi said.
Schoonover said he was as enthusiastic for the project as any alumni.
"I'd like to personally thank everyone that made a contribution to Provo High School to help purchase a new scoreboard for our football field," he said. "I cannot express enough the excitement that you have generated by helping us raise these funds."
Donations are still being accepted through the Provo District Foundation in the name of Bulldogs Remember committee. Businesses interested in advertising on the scoreboard are asked to contact football coach Cody Mallory at firstname.lastname@example.org.