After Brigham Young High School was closed down the buildings on academy square stood vacant for over 20 years. The buildings suffered considerable deterioration during this time. The buildings were slated for demolition when a last attempt was made to preserve the buildings. The Brigham Young Academy Foundation spearheaded the effort. The Foundation funded a feasibility study to determine the possibility of using the Academy building to house the Provo City Library. The Foundation also waged a successful campaign in the February elections of 1997, wherein a $16.8 million library bond was passed by the community of Provo.
The City required that the Brigham Young Academy Foundation raise $5.8 million to cover the costs of renovating and bringing the building up to code. These funds had to be raised by June 30, 1997. The deadline was met and the project went forward.