Provo High will not have a meeting with the wrecking ball any time soon.
The Provo Board of Education voted Tuesday to retain the school after receiving a positive report from an architect and structural engineer hired to evaluate the facility. On a motion by board member Kenneth Matheson, the board said it would keep and continue to improve the school "as we have the money." He said no bond or tax increase would be expected.Matheson noted it would be less expensive to buy surrounding property if needed to expand the present building than to build a new school. The school has undergone major additions and improvements since its construction in 1956. Six of those projects were completed in the past 10 years, a study shows, making nearly half of the school relatively new.
At last month's board meeting several parents asked the board to consider building a new school, citing safety and structural problems. The school has busy thoroughfares on three sides, including Freedom Boulevard, which splits the athletic fields.
But the school is structurally sound, said architect Steve Sandstrom. Some construction panels don't meet recent seismic standards, which could cause windows to pop out in an earthquake, but those walls could be brought up to code easily, he said. The structure holding up the cond floor is sound and won't come crashing down in a temblor, he said.
As for safety, "I hope (high school) students know how to cross a street safely," said board President Mossi White. "The Provo High School site is a wonderful central location."
"I don't feel my life is in danger as I walk down the halls except at class-change time," quipped Principal Samuel Jarman.