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Community members asked to weigh in on new name of Dixon Middle School

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jan 28, 2022

Courtesy Provo City School District

Rendering of the new school that would replace Dixon Middle School to be rebuilt on the Footprinter site.

After 90 years, the blue and gold Dixon Panthers may soon be no more. Following the decision to rebuild Dixon Middle School in a new location, which inspired passion on both sides of the issue, it has now been decided that the school will assume a new identity as well.

An online survey posted by the Provo City School District Board of Education Thursday asked community members for suggestions on a name, mascot and school colors for the new middle school slated to be built near Footprinter’s Park.

Dixon has sat at 750 West 200 North in Provo since its construction in 1931. As one of the oldest buildings currently owned by the Provo School District, it has been in need of costly and dramatic renovations to meet modern-day school standards.

The Board of Education voted 4-3 in September to build a new school at a new site rather than renovate the existing school or build a new school on the Dixon property. They said the new lot, which is 21 acres compared to the current plot which is just under eight acres, will allow for a much larger one-story school.

According to the survey description, the Provo City School District Board of Education believes that the Dixon name is important to the Dixon neighborhood and therefore will not move the 1.8 miles with students and faculty to the new facility.

“The Provo City School District Board of Education is working to determine the name, mascot and colors of the new middle school that will be built near Footprinters Park,” reads the survey description. “The board recognizes the importance of the Dixon name to the Dixon neighborhood. For this reason, the name will not move with the school.”

Caleb Price, spokesperson for district, added that the new middle school will have an opportunity to build its own history under a new name.

“There is a lot of history with the school being in that location for so long … and currently Dixon Middle School is in the Dixon neighborhood,” Price said. “The board felt that with the school moving to a new location that isn’t in the Dixon neighborhood itself, that the name should remain in the current neighborhood for whatever else goes onto that site in the future, and then start a new history with the new school in the new location.”

Some hope that the naming of this new school will be an opportunity to recognize those whose contributions to the Provo area have deep historic roots.

“I encourage people to suggest something referencing the Native American people and history of this valley,” Rachel Gianni Abbott commented on the district’s Facebook page.

The survey will remain open until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 6, and the suggestions submitted will be presented to the Board of Education at the Feb. 8 board meeting. The board will then select the top contenders for the school’s name, colors and mascot, which will be presented in a second survey for community feedback.

According to the survey, participants may recommend that the current school mascot, the panther, as well as the current school colors of blue and gold, be retained in the new middle school’s identity.

To view the survey, visit http://provoedu.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dpz3VbyYkuiUVPU.

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