New image, new pride

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New image, new pride

Seth Brock

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Thanks to the bond passed in 2014, Provo High has moved from its classic location on University down to the brand-new school on Lakeshore Drive. The fresh start has sparked constructive change within the school.

Ready just in time for the 2018-2019 school year, the new building is a dramatic upgrade.

Built in the 1950s the old school had many deterioration problems, including faulty air, heating, and plumbing.

“In D-wing, there was literally huge holes in the wall that students could put their hands through and pass notes through the wall. The building was swiss cheese,” said Joseph Wiederhold, English teacher at Provo High. From an architectural standpoint it was not safe.

Wiederhold explains how the old building was also insecure. “That school was built in a different time, where there were different pressures put on students. There was all kinds of doors that were left unlocked [and] there was no thought put towards how students would flow in and out of the building like there is here.”

The state of the building also interfered with the message educators hoped to communicate to their students. “At the old school it was hard for me to tell my students that I cared about them, that we were invested in their success, when the classroom was falling apart around us,” said Wiederhold.

The fresh start represents the message the old school failed to send. “The school represents an investment done by the community saying ‘we care about your education’.”

Fresh facilities with larger classroom space and new equipment have successfully improved the quality of class and even student morale. “Since it’s so new, a lot of people are treating it really nicely which has increased school spirit because we actually want to be here,” said Clara Ohran, student at Provo High.

At the new school there is a security vestibule.  Incoming visitors pass through the front office and must check in. A new policy is being enforced where if students are even thirty seconds late they need to grab a tardy slip before they can go to class. “The school campus just feels overall safer because we know all the doors are going to be locked,” said Clara.

However settling into the new school is a problem and a blessing. Wiederhold said, “It gives you space to create a new identity, to create values and a new culture. But then at the same time we’ve lost a little bit of the history and associations we had with the old building.”

Clara explains the situation with this analogy:  “The new school is like a new shoe. It looks nice but it’s stiff and uncomfortable. The old school, like a worn-in shoe, was a little dirty and tattered, but it had a familiarity to it that the new school is missing.”

Overall, Wiederhold thinks the change was absolutely worth it and necessary.

Similar to the old Provo High, physical conditions at Timpview are steadily declining and need to be a managed. Next year the option to vote on a bond to rebuild Timpview will be appear on ballots. If Timpview gets rebuilt, similar changes may be anticipated to happen.

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