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Winston Armani, Deseret News
The new Provo High School at 1199 N. Lakeshore Drive is pictured on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. The new school is about 4 miles from the former building near Brigham Young University. Crews are putting the final touches on the school, which should be ready for the first day of class, which is Wednesday, Aug. 15.

PROVO — Teachers started moving into their classrooms at the new Provo High School on Tuesday, even as workers rushed to put the finishing touches on the building before classes begin Aug. 15.

“The new school feels enormous,” Principal Boyd McAffee said.

The 43-acre campus is located at 1199 N. Lakeshore Drive, about 4 miles from the former building near Brigham Young University.

Winston Armani, Deseret News
The gym at the new Provo High School at 1199 N. Lakeshore Drive is pictured on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. The new school is about 4 miles from the former building near Brigham Young University. Crews are putting the final touches on the school, which should be ready for the first day of class, which is Wednesday, Aug. 15.

“The old building on University Avenue was built in the 1950s,” McAffee said. “It was inadequate; it was in really rough shape.”

The new, three-story building boasts soaring windows, open learning spaces and better security.

“It’s a lot safer than the old campus,” McAffee said. “This new school has the capability to lock out and lock down all of our exterior doors.”

What’s more, the building has fewer entrances to monitor. The old campus, with numerous buildings, had 117 entry and exit points. The new building has 36.

The final price tag for the 358,000-square-foot building came in at $79 million, according to the Provo School District.

Construction workers and school staff raced against the clock to prepare for an open house Tuesday evening and to ready classrooms for students to arrive next Wednesday.

“The food’s coming Saturday,” said school nutrition manager Lisa Rowley.

Given the new location, the lunchroom expects more customers since fast-food restaurants are now far away.

Winston Armani, Deseret News
School nutrition manager Lisa Rowley gets ready on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, for next week's opening of the new Provo High School. The new school is at 1199 N. Lakeshore Drive, which is about 4 miles from the former building near Brigham Young University.

“We’ve been planning on this for quite a while,” Rowley said. “We’re prepared with more staff. We’ve redesigned the menus.”

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After moving hundreds of books from the old school, English teacher Kristin Pierce is almost finished moving into her classroom.

“There’s just so much excitement and so much enthusiasm for the new school,” Pierce said.

She’s still adjusting to all the new technology and says, for now, she’s going to focus on the kids.

“I think more than anything I’m just ready to see the students,” she said. “They’re why we’re here. They’re the reason that we teach.”

BYU purchased the old school but hasn’t yet announced what it plans to do with the 25-acre campus.