The Hidden Costs of Building Out West

EDIT – Provo School District later told us that they would pay the cost of infrastructure to the Footprinter site.

The school board was told through feasibility studies that building off-site would be cheaper for the school district than rebuilding on-site by about 10% or $5 million. However, it may not be cheaper for the taxpayer. That is because building on the Footprinters Park site would require a vast amount of infrastructural upgrades that Provo City (via Provo City’s taxpayers) would have to pay for.

The Footprinters Park site is currently agricultural land. Note the happy goats and horses in the photo.

A build on the west side would need at least the following infrastructural upgrades:

1. Curb and Gutter Upgrades. There is currently sidewalk on only half of 1100W which would be a major route to the school. Many people would turn right where that tree casts a shadow. A quick walk around this area will show you that the sidewalks are not even close to complete as those in Dixon.
2. Road Construction. What you see here is 890 South. It could be one of the entrances to the school. It’s mostly gravel and not wide enough for two cars to pass each other (only 12 feet). At best they’d pave over some of the park and move utility lines to widen the road and at worst they’d have to purchase land from neighboring residents. Also, if Provo City has to connect 1600 West to Lakeview Parkway, there’s at least another million dollars.

3. Sewer Upgrades. There is currently a freeze on development on the west side because the sewer infrastructure is not yet sufficient to meet demand.

4. Culinary Water. Water lines would have to be put in to provide sufficient water for a school.

Bonus: Ongoing costs to repave a massive parking lot every ten years and continuously water and maintain additional landscaping on a 20-acre site.

What would the cost of infrastructural upgrades be?

We’re not really sure, but it cost Provo City between $5 million and $7 million to build the infrastructure to Provo High. That would make building on the west side more expensive than rebuilding on-site in the end.

But the infrastructure has to go in eventually, right?

If people want to live there, yes. However, those costs are usually footed by developers who pass it on to home buyers. In the end, it’s the homeowners who pay for the costs through increased home prices.

Building off-site will likely be more expensive to the taxpayer than building on-site. Just another reason to keep Dixon in Dixon!

2 thoughts on “The Hidden Costs of Building Out West

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