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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 school starts.
“The new school feels enormous,” said Principal Boyd McAffee.
The 43-acre campus is located west of I-15 at 1199 Lakeshore Drive, about 4 miles from the former building near Brigham Young University.
“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 just 36.
The final price tag for the 358,000-square-foot building came in at $79 million, according to the Provo City 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 Aug. 15.
“The food’s coming Saturday,” said school nutrition manager Lisa Rowley.
Given the new location, the lunch room expects more customers since fast-food restaurants are now far away.
“We’ve been planning on this for quite a while,” Rowley said. “We’re prepared with more staff. We’ve redesigned the menus.”
“There’s just so much excitement and so much enthusiasm for the new school,” said English teacher Kristin Pierce.
After moving hundreds of books from the old school, Pierce was almost moved into her classroom Tuesday. She was still adjusting to all the new technology and said, 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.