Provo School Reconstruction Bond

Provo City School District is currently proposing a $108 million bond for the purpose of rebuilding schools within the district. The School Board is committed to the reconstruction of Provo High School, Rock Canyon Elementary School, Edgemont Elementary School, Provost Elementary School and Sunset View Elementary School.

I hope every resident will take the time to carefully study out the issue, read more about the proposed bond, and watch the video above. The board is hosting a series of public meetings throughout September and October:

  • *Wednesday, September 17 at Rock Canyon Elementary
  • Thursday, September 18 at Timpanogos Elementary
  • Tuesday, September 30 at Canyon Crest Elementary
  • *Wednesday, October 1 at Provo High School
  • Thursday, October 2 at Franklin Elementary
  • *Tuesday, October 7 at Provost Elementary
  • Wednesday, October 8 at Provo Peaks Elementary
  • Thursday, October 9 at Lakeview Elementary
  • Tuesday, October 21 at Dixon Middle School
  • *Thursday, October 23 at Edgemont Elementary
  • *Tuesday, October 28 at Sunset View Elementary
  • Thursday, October 30 at Timpview High School

All Open Houses Begin at 7:00pm. * Tour of the building beginning at 6:30pm

Read more about the proposed bond and the public meetings on the Provo School District Site.

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  1. Lynn

    Thank you so much for getting the word out! This is so important to the future of our city and our youth!

  2. Jennifer

    Thank you for your support! This is important to our entire city, and will help Provo build stronger neighborhoods, making it an even MORE desirable place to live!

  3. John

    I don’t understand how bonding for this is different from the issue around bonding for road construction. I am totally in favor if rebuilding the schools, is there no way we can do this without bonding for it? Can’t we just raise taxes and begin paying for it that way?

    What happens in 5 or 6 years, when it’s time to work on one of the schools that’s not slated here? Do we bond again, with 15 years left on the current bond, or are the savings in upkeep enough to deal with the next school?

    Again, I am totally in favor of rebuilding schools, I just don’t understand why this bond is the best method to do that…

    1. Alex

      I agree and don’t understand why Dixon didn’t make the cut. I’m not happy about it and won’t vote yes unless it is added. Half of all students will attend there. I am very unhappy about it.

  4. Eric

    I hope that Provo High School is moved. It is in a horrible location. There are no students within miles of the location. Many students have been involved in horrific auto accidents there.

  5. Dave

    What about Dixon????

  6. steve

    I’m with John. Not against upgrading schools, but isn’t that part of ongoing education funding? Do other cities pay for schools through bonds? I have not heard or read much about funding for school buildings being paid through bonding.

  7. Alex

    I’m not happy that Dixon Middle School did not make the list. Unless it is added I will not be voting yes to this.

  8. Bryn

    Thank you for this informative video. Well done, looking forward to new schools in this town!!

  9. Tom

    There is a problem with thinking in Utah that everything needs to be ‘new’ to be valuable. Go to Europe or even the Eastern States and there is plenty of value in updating and maintaining ‘old’ things. “Keeping up with the Jones’s” is not an excuse for going over a million dollars in debt. If the buildings are dilapidated that says more about mismanagement of the current elected officials than it should about the need for an ’emergency loan’. This campaign makes me so angry because it takes no responsibility for how we got here in the first place. If nobody will take responsibility for how we got here, we’re just taking an irresponsible loan that will merit future loans as well.

    I’m voting “NO”. Join me.

  10. Joseph

    I would like to see the ratings for Dixon middle school and how it stacks up against the schools that made it on the list……since half of the children in the district will pass through this school, I would think it is time for rebuilding, it is over 75 + years old and likely is lower than some of the schools that made the list. My vote will be no unless Dixon makes the list. If we will be paying for these schools for the next 20 years I want it to be used appropriately.

  11. John W

    My main concern is that the School Board is creating a ‘petty cash’ fund with the bond. Should there be monies left over from the construction it should go to an early pay off of the bond…not a ‘party’ fund.
    And yes, what of Dixon?

  12. Chris

    New bond-age

    Does the Provo School District have buildings that are in need of renovating or replacement? Absolutely. Is it fiscally responsible to put the city (read “Provo City property owners”) into additional debt before retiring old debt? No. Do religious and financial advisors counsel people to get out of debt? Yes, so why should the counsel be different for a city who or any other organization? Some debt may be necessary. However, we need to pay off some bonds—be fiscally responsible—before incurring more debt bondage. The proposed bonds are just taxes by another name. It’s often the same story for new taxes/fees/bonds: it will only cost $X amount per month for taxpayers; it’s needed for the children; we need it for the community.

    The proposed bond will tax residential property owners an additional estimated $110.88 per year and business owners $201.60. That’s the low end estimate. The high end is $215.52 per year for residential and $391.92 per year for business property owners.

    Can you really afford to pay an extra $110-215 in property taxes each year? I know I have other things I need that money for, specifically for needs of my children.

    While I’m convinced we will need new schools in the future, I’m not convinced options other than increasing taxes have been adequately explored, nor am I convinced we should take on additional debt before paying off current debt.

    We all like new, but the question is why are the selected schools (and others) in their current state? There are plenty of old buildings around the world, but is it seriously cheaper to demolish, clean-up, and build new than to upgrade what is currently there?

    Additionally, I don’t like the language stating the District can levy additional taxes if needed. The actual wording on the official ballot proposition states, “The foregoing information is only an estimate and is not a limit on the amount of taxes that the District may be required to levy in order to pay debt service on the Bonds.” I know this is what is legally required, and that is my concern: Too often we end up paying more than we bargained for, so it’s not the bargain we expected.

    I have a mild concern about the District’s credit rating, whose rating is good, but why isn’t it the best it can be? Perhaps things haven’t been managed as well as they could, and maybe things need to be straightened up in-house before taxpayers should be further taxed.

    The dream is to own your home and property, but it’s just a dream because we never do and never will as long as we continue to pay rent (property tax) on it—and increased rent almost every year, regardless of whether your income increases.

    It also seems that we can be taxed with too little input. Provo residents are now paying an additional tax on their utilities for the transportation fund. Regarding this added tax, our Mayor has stated, “Here’s the best news- We feel that we can actually reduce the money you pay in property taxes by March 2015” once the current transportation bond’s interest is paid off. Personally I disagree with how the amount of this tax was determined, it was based on a national study that indicated an average home has approximately 17 trips per day—I don’t know anyone who makes that many trips on an average day. That seems high, and even if a “trip” is defined as one-way, that would mean you drive to 8 different destinations (home, work, home, store, home, dance, school, home) on an average day. But that tax is a different topic.

    However, instead of reducing our taxes, the District wants to increase them.

    And the Mayor is in support of this. Which means he supports the increase in property taxes, even though one of his selling points for the added transportation tax on our utility bills was reduced property taxes.

    Typical politicians. They get us used to paying taxes and rarely retire any; they just re-allocate the money and then ask for more.

    Personally, I am not supportive of any additional taxes, especially property taxes, without conclusive demonstration that the tax is last option and absolutely the best option for the citizens. Before I support a new tax the following needs to be proven to me:

    • The proposed tax must be proven conclusively that it is in the absolute best interest of the majority of the citizens, and in particular to those who will pay the biggest burden of tax.
    • Past and current management of funds, related finances, and facilities is impeccable, which can demonstrate the potential for proper and prudent use of taxpayer monies.
    • All other options must have been clearly explored, exposed to the public, and shown to support the need for additional taxation.

    Basically this is what I’m hearing from Provo City, the Provo City School District, and supporters of these bonds: “We need to build a few new schools to replace some old ones, and we need to do it for the good of the children. Oh, and it’s only going to cost us $108 million, which will only cost property owners about $10 per month.” And I interpret this message as “if you don’t support these bonds for new schools, you must not be supportive of the welfare of our children.”

    Personally I get very suspicious of those who use our children and the “good of our community” to rally support for some cause. I’m not saying all of these causes are bad, it’s just that if a politician or special interest group wants something passed, these are the two big rallying cries they use. And too often voters pass the measure believing the rhetoric but not understanding the true cause and effect.

    I’m voting No to the proposed Bonds. I don’t want any further bond-age than I’m under, nor do I want my children to grow up and be under bond-age they didn’t agree to. I have other more pressing needs to spend $110 to $215 on, and it’s definitely not on property taxes.

    1. Tom H

      Well stated, Chris. I’m voting “no” for the same reasons.

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