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Herald editorial: Provo High School leaves a legacy and impact that can’t be replicated

March 11, 2018 GMT

There’s an undeniably cathartic nostalgia when one reminisces of their high school days.

Who can forget the first time they stepped through the doors of their high school with a sensation of anxiety, dread and wonder all at once? Who can forget how it felt to participate in their first extracurricular activity, whether it be band, cheerleading, football or otherwise?

And how can anyone forget that familiar dreadful anxiety of walking out your high school doors for the last time with a cap on their head and a gown on their shoulders?

High school evokes many memories — both good and bad — that undeniably contribute to the crafting of our futures. Every time we drive past the building we spent our pre-collegiate education, a slight tinge of melancholy runs down our backs, and we recognize what we gained from that brick and mortar home of academia.

When Provo High School was first constructed in 1956, it was lauded as the “dream of the decades” and “an envisioned reality.” Students’ eyes twinkled in awe of the enormity of the new school, far surpassing what they had previously.

But as the encroaching passing of time slowly wore away at the school, the building is less able to provide a proper home for education, with aged structures and even slanting walls becoming more of a distraction to the learning process.

The once-new school is now another “the old school,” and next fall, Provo High School students will have a new facility, just east of Utah Lake, that is promised to be a marked improvement over the old building.

The community has known of the closing of the building for years, and yet, now that it’s just months away, a sense of remorse has swept the Bulldog family.

And who could blame them? The repute of Provo High School is well-known. Mayor Michelle Kaufusi was a cheerleader while she attended. Utah Valley University’s president, Matthew Holland, is also an alumnus of Provo High. And many other notary alumni, such as Nobel laureates, authors and others call themselves Bulldogs.

One cannot look at Provo High School and not recognize the impact it’s had on so many lives in the valley and abroad. That same sentimentality you feel for your alma mater is felt by every Provo High graduate as the last student leaves its doors this spring and it’s no longer recognized as the home of learning, friendships and memories it once was.

Brigham Young University, which purchased the high school about two years ago, has yet to disclose what the property will be used as once the students and faculty vacate the school. No doubt the Daily Herald will disclose this as soon as we’re informed.

Provo High School left a legacy in the community, and we’ve chosen to recognize this with a special section dedicated to the school, which will be available next Sunday.

If you’re a subscriber to the Daily Herald, it will be included in your Sunday edition. If not, you may purchase it separately should you so choose. All content will also be made available online in a special section of our website, heraldextra.com.

Our reporters worked tirelessly to tell stories, share memories and, overall, recognize the deep roots Provo High School had in the community — from its inception in 1956 when the population of the county was just exceeding 80,000, to today, as the school is bursting at its seams with students.

We hope that as you read the articles and admire the photos, both old and new, you’ll appreciate what your formative years of high school did for your own life. Simultaneously, we look forward with fondness to hearing of the new experiences Provo High School students will have next year, and we hope their new school will be the “dream of decades” just as their old school has been. May the legacy of the old school shape the futures of new students.