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No surprise: Provo's Grandview to go

PROVO — The closure of Grandview Elementary wasn't a surprise. But the possibility of drawing new boundaries around Provo's southwest Parkridge neighborhood was.

On Tuesday night, the Provo School District Board of Education voted unanimously to close the 58-year-old Grandview Elementary, 1591 Jordan Ave., at the end of the school year.

Next fall, an elementary in Provo's Lakeview neighborhood will open, and the board concluded it would be too expensive to keep 14 elementary schools in operation. The Grandview faculty — and possibly the principal — will be transferred as a group to the Lakeview school.

The move had been anticipated by many Provo residents. The board had been considering closing the school for years and had tasked a committee to study the impacts of closure this spring.

In fact, no residents from Grandview Hill pleaded to the board to keep the school open during the public comment portion of the meeting. But residents in other neighborhoods, whose children attend west-side schools, expressed dismay.

"How was it decided all of the sudden that we were in this (Grandview decision) and why were we not (informed)?" asked Judy Bona, a resident of Parkridge neighborhood.

Bona said she only learned in the last few weeks that her neighborhood, along with the Leisure Village mobile home park, could be assigned to different schools after school board member Sandy Packer left a note at her house and other homes in the neighborhood.

Students in both areas currently attend Westridge Elementary, but part of the Grandview vote was a provision that boundaries in those two neighborhoods would be reconsidered.

The Board of Education will take the neighborhoods' comments at two open houses: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6-8 p.m. at Amelia Earhart Elementary and Thursday, Oct. 18, 6-8 p.m. at Sunset View Elementary. The board will vote on the boundaries of the two neighborhoods next month.

"My concern is moving my kids to a school not close to where they live," said Marie Patrick, a resident of Parkridge. "It's not feasible for them to walk and their friends won't live close by them, and they can't just run and play with them."

Last month, Parkridge parents were assured at an open house that their neighborhood's students would stay at Westridge if Grandview was closed, said Christian Faulconer, who chaired the committee that studied the impacts.

The school board is considering changing the boundaries, Faulconer said, because of low enrollment at Amelia Earhart Elementary.

• The school board also voted Tuesday night to assign students in the Upper Carterville neighborhood, who currently attend Westridge, to Edgemont Elementary on the city's east side.

"It doesn't just affect elementary school but junior high and high school as well," Upper Carterville resident Julie Roper said, because Edgemont students attend east-side middle and high schools.

"They have to know this is not an easy decision for people that like small schools, for one thing," board member Shannon Poulson said about the Grandview closure. "One of the factors for me was it was an opportunity to keep the Grandview teaching faculty as a cohort. Had we waited, which I would have liked to have done, it may have made that impossible."