|The much anticipated, long awaited building plan for
the Loudon County School System passed it's first hurdle at Thursday's
board of education meeting. The plan which includes two new schools and
several renovations in phase one and a new school in phase two passed
the board vote by a 7-3 margin. Only board members Bill Marcus, Gary
Ubben and Leroy Tate voted against the plan.
one of the plan will include a new Pre K -12 school in Greenback, a new
6-8 middle school in Loudon, combining Loudon Elementary and Fort Loudon
Middle into a Pre K - 5 and expansion or replacing the cafeteria at
Philadelphia. Phase two of the plan which will commence on completion of
phase one will include a new middle school in the north end of the
county which will relieve over crowding at all three north end schools.
Based of information from various architects and engineers the going
rate for new construction is in the $100-$125 per sq. ft. range. Under
that assumption rough estimate costs could be in the 30-35 mil. range.
Of course this could change up or down depending on what the
architect/engineers tell us. This plan should also reduce operating cost
across the board. The plan will also take care of student growth in the
county for many, many years.
Four county commissioners were
in attendance at the meeting including Don Miller, Wayne Gardin, David
Meers and Austin Shaver. Commissioner Gardin stated after the meeting
that he opposed the plan and will work to defeat it. Other commissioners
were more supportive.
The next big hurdle for the
plan will be to gain support of the county commission, the funding body
for the county. Director of schools, Wayne Honeycutt is set to present
the plan to commission at their next workshop.
1st phase of Loudon school building passes
But Loudon school board rejects idea to change model
Hugh G. Willett, knoxnews.com
LOUDON - The Loudon County school board on Thursday night
passed the first phase of a new school building program that rejected a
proposed move to a countywide preschool-through-eighth-grade model.
The plan, estimated at about $35 million, includes building a new
sixth-to-eighth-grade middle school on property next to Loudon High
It will also include a new pre-K-through-12th-grade school in Greenback
and the combination of Loudon Elementary and Fort Loudoun Middle School
into a single, pre-K-through-fifth-grade school joined by a new
cafeteria and office building. A new cafeteria is also planned for
The long-awaited plan was passed on a 7-3 vote and killed the proposed
transition to a pre-K-through-eighth-grade school model recommended by
Schools Director Wayne Honeycutt and several board members.
The model was touted for increasing student performance and reducing
administrative staff but was controversial in that it might have
required zoning of children into specific school districts.
"I favor the pre-K-to-eight model, but the people say they want the
middle school," board member Larry Proaps said.
Board member Gary Ubben, a professor of education at the University of
Tennessee, made a strong presentation in favor of the change, explaining
the benefits of increased student performance because of the reduction
in transitions from one school to another.
"The board is countermanding the direction of the professional
educators," he said.
The plan will now go to the Loudon County Commission for funding.
Commissioner Don Miller said he and other commissioners will be looking
at the total cost of the project as well as the ongoing operating
Commissioner Austin Shaver said he believes the proposal approved by the
school board is the most reasonable plan based on the needs of the