Any concerns the Provo School District had about a new Utah County Jail were eliminated when county officials announced earlier in the week they were looking at a new site, district officials said.

At a Utah County Jail Advisory Committee meeting two weeks ago, county officials proposed building a 300-bed, $17.5 million jail about 400 yards north of the current facility on 23 acres of privately owned property near Bicentennial Park. However, officials learned at the meeting that Provo School District owns about 3 acres adjacent to the park.When school district officials first heard of the county's plans, many reacted in opposition. With plans to use the land near Bicentennial Park for a future elementary school, district officials said they don't want a jail nearby.

"We were somewhat concerned that they might build the jail adjacent to our property," Provo School District Superintendent Kay Laursen said.

Local PTA officials vowed to fight the county if they moved forward with plans to build the jail near the park.

Wanting to stop any opposition to the new-jail proposal, county officials proposed a new site Monday. The site would be about 100 yards northeast of the current jail on county-owned property. The county will save land costs, but will have to spend about $150,000 excavating the land and relocating a couple of roads in the area.

"We're looking at this site as our No. 1 option," Commissioner Gary Herbert said.

County commissioners, jail officials and Laursen toured the proposed site Monday and discussed the type of facility the county is proposing to build. County officials said the proposed facility would be more secure than the current facility and would not be significantly closer to the district property.

"They did a good job of explaining the proposal, and I don't think the concern should be any greater than with the jail where it is right now," Laursen said.

Provo School Board members Tuesday night instructed Larsen to monitor progress on the jail plans and to inform them if there are any changes.

"(The county) has been very upfront with us," Laursen said.

See JAIL on B2

"They've promised to keep us informed as the project moves along and to let us know if there are any change in plans."

Commissioners are planning to hold a public hearing in July to discuss the proposed jail and answer questions those living near the proposed site might have.

"That way if they want to oppose it, they will at least know what they're opposing," Herbert said.

County officials are currently requesting proposals from architects to design the facility and to present a better estimate of the project's costs. They are expecting the jail to cost between $17 million and $18 million. They will ask voters in November to approve a general obligation bond to construct the jail.