Community gives input on proposed Provo schools bond 03

Melanie Hall, second from left, vice president of the Provo City School District Board of Education, Julie Rash, a board member, and Keith Rittel, the school district's superintendent, look at information presented during a board meeting held by the school district concerning an upcoming bond that includes possibly moving Dixon Middle School and tentative projects for Timpview High School on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at Rock Canyon Elementary School in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

We the undersigned citizens of Provo desire the very best schools for our community.

Many of us have served not only as parents of school children and all that that entails, but in elected and volunteer positions in city government, PTA officers, teachers, neighborhood leaders and school administrators. We have studied the proposed $245 million dollar school bond proposal for the upcoming election and are convinced that this bond is not fiscally responsible, nor is it in the best interest of the school children, citizens and businesses of Provo. We therefore propose that this bond not move forward but that an alternative bond that includes the following items, be proposed.

Dixon Middle School We support the building of a new middle school on the district-owned Grandview site, located where the previous Grandview grade school existed. Addition of the adjacent city park as either a joint use property or purchased school property could be included. The cost of locating here would be similar to relocating to the proposed Footprinter’s site or rebuilding on the current Dixon site.

Pros: Infrastructure is already well-established in the area, it’s an environmentally superior site, and is similar in size to Footprinter’s site.

Cons: There are some eminent domain issues, some access issues

Potential Cost: $55 million

Timpview High School

We support the option suggested in the Provo School Board commissioned report from the geotechnical engineering firm CMT Engineering Laboratories that was dated Feb. 5, 2019. This report makes the following statements.

“As we understand it, additional differential movement/settlement at the school became more pronounced in the spring of 2017 following a water leak. It is probable that the leaking water saturated a portion of the soils supporting foundations, which appear to have moisture sensitivity, resulting in additional differential consolidation settlement.

“Settlement monitoring CMT performed at the school over a period of approximately 9 months in the late fall 2017 through-summer 2018 did not indicate that any significant movement was still occurring.”

“The potential for additional differential movement/settlement could be minimized by installing helical piers which extend to a sufficient depth below potentially moisture sensitive soils, or below a zone likely to become saturated from surface water...”

We note that although 2017 was a very wet spring, rainfall in the springs of 2009, 2011, as well as 2019 were more severe, and no dramatic structural damage was reported in those years.

Pros: This improves geotechnical stabilization of current Timpview structures, is more fiscally responsible, delays Timpview replacement for a period such that pier and major maintenance items can be fiscally justified and allows the board the ability to plan future replacements for Provo High and Timpview High to be adequately staggered.

Cons: The total refurbishment of Timpview delayed, with no major changes to above grade structures.

Potential cost: $30 million

Other bond items

We support the rebuild of Wasatch Elementary School, the additions to Westridge Elementary and the safety improvements recommended on the current bond.

Listed cost: $45 million

This bond proposal would cost $130 million compared to the bond under consideration that is $245 Million. These suggestions represent an acceptable bond that balances safety needs of the students, proper environmental location of quality new schools, and needed support of tax paying Provo citizens and businesses.

Signed: Steven and Karen Benzley; Doug and Cindy Gale; Kay and Cynthia Van Buren; Mark and Melanie Epling; David and Janet Rail; Thayne and Lola Dawn Wilson; Dennis and Kathi Weir; Jack and Jeanene Marvell; Ryan and Amy Frandsen; Rich and Rhonda Lucas; Robbie and Karen Bosco; Karl and Margaret Van Leuven; Jim and Mary Anne Marrott; Larry and Laraine Kearns; Dan and Linda Johnson; Ken and Marlene Matheson; Larry and Lynda Benson; Kyle and Judi Rollins; George and Lee Ann Hone; R.S. and Margaret Ford; Michael and Elizabeth A. Stephenson; Brian and Tracie Rust; Daryl and Mary Jo Acor

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!