Provo Board of Education votes 4-3 to move Dixon Middle School to a new location | News, sports, jobs

Dixon Middle School, a 90-year-old icon in Provo, is said to be nearby and to be built elsewhere. (Courtesy of Provo City School District)

Dixon Middle School, a 90-year-old icon in Provo, is said to be nearby and to be built elsewhere. (Courtesy of Provo City School District)

The school grand dame of Provo City School District met her game on Tuesday when the Education Committee voted 4-3 to build a new middle school in Footprinter Park.

The Dixon Middle School is a 90 year old building at 750 W. 200 North in Provo. It has been an integral part of the city center for decades. With the vote on Tuesday, the current school will be closed and a new one will be built.

Numerous residents rose to defend the school by requesting that a new school be built on the same site as Dixon, rather than on the newly selected property in Footprinter Park at 1150 p. 1350 West.

The school’s designs show that the new school at Footprinter will have four floors, while the current location doesn’t offer a much bigger option than a floor or two. The available real estate at Footprinter is roughly three times the size of its current location.

The discussion about the future of Dixon is older than any of the 986 7th and 8th grade students. Two bonds have come and gone without Dixon’s turn.

Much of the public comment period was spent defending and speaking on behalf of those who were absent. The neighborhood is in a low-income area that has a wide variety of cultures and educational backgrounds.

“I went to see Dixon. None of us are here to destroy the neighborhoods, ”said local resident Kimberly Lamb. “We have to think about what is best for the whole city, not for a small part of the city.”

Another resident said she was there to represent the poor community. “It’s an uphill battle with many hurdles,” she said. “We don’t need any further hurdles due to the school’s move. We want to be awake with you and moving Dixon makes it harder. “

Provo Councilor David Harding spoke briefly about the need for family-friendly infrastructure in the center of the city and how Dixon is part of it. He said I should leave Dixon where it is.

Resident Austin Taylor noted that the majority of people would like to see Dixon rebuild locally. He added that the Dixon neighborhood has an average annual income of $ 36,000 and the Footprinter neighborhood has an average annual income of $ 58,000.

Taylor asked the school board of those two neighborhoods which one Dixon needs more?

Some local residents believe it is warranted to rebuild Dixon and build a third middle school of the same size. They believe there is already a need for a third school in Provo.

A number of former Dixon PTA presidents, students, and teachers campaigned to preserve the historic building – at least if the district didn’t want to leave the school there, which remained the preferred outcome.

If Facebook posts are any indication, residents seem unhappy with Tuesday’s vote and will start a petition that, if enough valid signatures are collected, could bring the issue to the November 2022 vote.

Benjamin Ellis, the Dixon neighborhood chairman, posted this on Dixon’s Facebook page:

“Neighbors, I am sorry to inform you that the school board decided against the vote on the bond, against the majority of opinions, against the data, logic and emotional appeals of those who will be most affected, and decided has to vote for a move from Dixon Middle School from our neighborhood. “

“Arguments ranged from ‘a mega-school will be educationally better for our students’ to nebulous threats that the Timpanogos Elementary will close 20 years later because a middle school is not becoming dense (and all the apartments that are being built around it). will it suddenly go away now?), “added Ellis.

“But I have good news. The board KNOW we are going to campaign to combat this decision – they hoped that their arguments would influence us, but we are not. Dixon belongs to Dixon, ”he said.

“We’ll have to collect about 4,000 signatures to give the community a voice on building the new middle school,” said Ellis. “WE, the Dixon neighborhood, can shine here.”

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