Replacing Provo High School is a "ridiculous" idea, says Provo School District's building and grounds director.

The school has had plenty of refurbishing over the years to keep up with the times. "It's a better school now than when we built it in 1956," said Phil Lott.But many parents of high schoolers disagree.

Parents recently approached the Board of Education to consider building a new school, partly because of safety issues. The high school campus is landlocked and surrounded by heavily traveled streets including North University Avenue, Bulldog Boulevard and Freedom Boulevard. Students must cross Freedom Boulevard to attend required physical education classes.

The idea to replace Provo High first surfaced last fall when former Parent Teacher Association president Lola Dawn Wilson brought up safety concerns. But the concept has been circulating much longer than that, she said.

Now Wilson says she's not pushing for a new school if problems can be fixed. She would like the school board to carefully weigh the issues and take care of safety concerns. Sections that have been remodeled "are nice," she said, but much of it still needs major renovation.

Refurbishing the school is ongoing. The district is now adding a new media center that will likely cost about $966,565 when completed. Parents earlier asked the school district to hold off until it considered the issue of building a new school. Upgrading the auditorium will take place this summer, said Lott. The district has budgeted $250,000 for that.

Last summer the track was resurfaced for $224,575, as were the tennis courts for $9,200. New tennis court bleachers cost $60,690.

Capital expenditures over the past 11 years at Provo High have cost the district more than $10 million, according to a district document released to the Deseret News. A science wing built in 1987 cost $1.29 million; a music room addition was $905,198 in 1990. Also that year the district spent $1.2 million upgrading the commons area.

In 1995, a gymnasium and classroom addition were built for $4.75 million. The gym and classroom addition was funded by a 1993 bond that allocated $3.5 million. The structure came in $1.25 million over budget.

Also during that period the district upgraded the air conditioning, doors, roofs and a driving range.

*****

Additional Information

Provo High capital expenditures 1987-98

Building

Science wing (1987) $1,292,301

Music addition (1990) $905,198

Commons (1990) $1,225,000

Gym & 15 classrooms (1995) $4,759,773

Media center (1998) $966,565

Total $9,148,837

Other

Air conditioning $272,103

Track $224,575

Bleachers $60,690

Doors $11,065

Roofs $159,913

Driving Range $164,000

Total $892,346

Grand Total $10,041,183