In November 2014, by a small majority of voters, Provo taxpayers approved a $108 million bond to replace on-site Provo High School and four elementary schools. A year later, the seven-member school board decided, without any voter input, to move Provo High to a district-owned and former wetland site in west Provo. In connection with that move, the school board sold most of the Provo High property to BYU for $25.1 million. Without advising the public, they decided to retain the large sports practice field in back of the school district offices.
The school board also unilaterally decided to keep the $25.1 million from BYU for so-called “capital expenditures” rather than using those funds to reduce the $108 million bond to $83 million. This would have substantially lessened the large property tax increases suffered by Provo residents. Moreover, had the school board also sold the sports practice field, instead of retaining it for questionable future use, our tax burden could have been reduced even more.
This issue of paying down the bond was brought to the attention of the school board, and ignored, at a public hearing on Aug. 9, 2016. While none of the school board members are up for re-election this year, based on the foregoing, it is clear that Provo voters and taxpayers alike are being ignored by their school board.