• headerbg1

Dr. L. Douglas Smoot, Provo

After standing vacant for over 20 years, the historic Brigham Young Academy in Provo was slated for demolition in 1994. The future of Brigham Young University's original campus seemed dismal. Today, however, the Academy Building is being renovated as part of Provo City's new library. Dr. Douglas Smoot's leadership has been crucial to the success of this challenging project. At each critical juncture, his diplomacy and problem-solving skills were key to moving the project forward .

Spurred by his family connection to BYA and his passion for Provo's heritage, Dr. Smoot stepped forward to lead the effort to preserve the academy in 1995. Over the next four years, he organized and chaired seven committees and volunteered more than 4000 hours of his time.

As chair of the Brigham Young Academy Foundation Restoration Committee, Dr. Smoot was instrumental in identifying a possible use for BYA --housing a new Provo City library. He obtained permission from the Provo City Library Board and Provo City Council to conduct a feasibility study to explore this idea.

As chair of the Feasibility Study Committee he brought together representatives of Provo City, the library board, the Brigham Young Academy Foundation and Utah Heritage Foundation to participate in every phase of the study. His leadership enabled this group to reach a consensus on a plan for renovating the Academy Building to house the library.

After the Provo City Council and Library Board approved the plan to move the library to Academy Square, Dr. Smoot led efforts to raise public support for the $16.8 million bond needed to fund the library expansion as chair the BYA Foundation Bond Election Committee. At the same time, he headed the Foundation's Fundraising Committee. This committee was charged with raising $5 .3 million in private funds to cover the cost of renovating the Academy Building. Dr. Smoot's well-planned efforts were successful on all fronts: the bond passed with a 58% majority and the BYA Foundation raised the required $5.3 million by its June 1997 deadline.

Dr. Smoot is currently serving as one of nine mayoral appointees on the Library Construction Oversight Committee. His solutions to critical budget and scheduling issues have helped insure that the construction phase of the project proceeds as planned.

Dr. Smoot will be the first to tell you that he did not save BYA by himself. Indeed many talented people have devoted time and energy to this project. But Dr. Smoot was the leader whose vision overcame obstacles and who organized and motivated others for success.