The City Council doesn't want the Provo School Board to sell Fox Field or the district office building. No way, nohow, never.
In a letter delivered to Board President David G. Weight on Wednesday morning, the council said it opposes both proposals.Fox Field, behind the district's office at 280 W. 940 North, and other parks next to public schools in the city were jointly developed and are maintained by both the district and the city for the benefit of all city residents, according to the council's letter.
"If the school district unilaterally sells part of Fox Field for use as a parking lot, it could commence the collapse of this relationship," the letter states.
Councilman Ron Last said during the council's meeting Tuesday, "There is a very strong feeling that we just simply have to hang on to that concept."
Earlier this month, the group building a new doctors office plaza on the southeast corner of Utah Valley Regional Medical Center asked the district to lease 1.4 acres of Fox Field for construction of a parking lot. The school board initially approved the proposal, but the group later withdrew its offer after criticism from members of the City Council.
To illustrate its concern, the council's letter asks the school board to consider how it would feel if the city sold 11 acres of its property south of and abutting Timpview High School for development of a parking lot.
"The response from the school district and its patrons would surely be one of outrage," the letter states.
That sale, like the sale of Fox Field, would violate the mutual agreement between the district and the city and decrease the number of parks and open areas available to residents and schoolchildren, the council said.
Land is irreplaceable and, once sold, is no longer available for park use or school expansion, the council said.
"We should learn from our sophisticated neighbors. Brigham Young University and Intermountain Health Care rarely, if ever, sell land; they buy it, knowing that prime land in Provo City may become economically impossible to buy in the future," the letter states.
The council also believes the district has more pressing needs than a new office building, including replacement of 100-year-old elementary schools buildings, adequate housing for its alternative high school and a new gymnasium at Provo High School.