County Board of Education Approves Long Range School Building Plan

$144 Million Price Tag, New High School Added to List
BY Pat Hunter


The Loudon County Board Of Education had a Special Called Capital Projects Meeting to approve a School Building Plan. Chairman Bobby Johnson, Jr. suggested using the list of recommendations and proposals distributed by Director Edward Headlee.


The entire board was present including Chairman Bobby Johnson, Jr., June Klinstiver, vice-chair, Bill Marcus, Scotty Newman, Leroy Tate, Larry Proaps, Freddy Walker, Larry Bass, and Nancy Pauley.


School board members commented that there was $15 Million now that could be utilized without a tax increase. Chairman Johnson said that the county mayor and commission wanted a plan. The plan would be voted upon by the BOE and would later be prioritized. A total cost was not given but rough estimates look like it will be about $144 Million. Here’s the breakdown:    


South Plan


Bill Marcus said that he wanted to first start with the South Plan. His motion was to take Loudon Elementary and Fort Loudoun Middle with grade configuration to be Pre K through 2 and 3 through 5, build a new school on the property that they currently now own. Go to Steekee with a Pre K to 8, do the renovation at the cafeteria at Philadelphia, renovation at the Loudon High School, and the completion of the life safety fire issues at the Loudon High School. Marcus made an amendment to construct a freshman academy. Leroy Tate asked about relocating the office to the front of the building of the Loudon High School and also renovating the Loudon High auditorium. Headlee said that could be incorporated along with the freshman academy. A second was made and this motion was unanimously approved.  


Mr. Gentry, Philadelphia School principle, commented that the governor is pressing for Pre school be mandatory and if that were to happen, he wished for the Board to consider that portables be moved from Ft. Loudon to Philadelphia. An amendment was made to add the four classrooms to the Philadelphia School, which was unanimously approved.  


East Plan

Larry Bass made a motion, seconded by Pauley to build a PreK –12 on the property acquired on Morganton Rd. in Greenback with a core capacity of 900 students. Cost $26,000,000. The motion passed with a 6 to 4 vote

Bass, Pauley, Johnson, Proaps, Harrelson, Newman - yes

Tate, Klinstiver, Walker, Marcus – no


North Plan

June Klinstiver said that a new high school 9-12 at the Highway 321 property was needed. Her motion was seconded by Larry Proaps. This item was not on Headlee’s handout. Additionally Klinstiver’s motion was to also  build a new middle school for grades 6-8 on Hwy 321. She said that these were long-term future plans. Headlee was asked to give an estimate on building a high school and Headlee’s reply was about $40 Million. Also in her motion was to convert existing Eaton Elementary into a PK-2 school.  Replace HVAC and make any renovations necessary for PreK facilities. Convert existing North Middle into a 3-5 grade school.  Construct new kitchen at rear of current multi-purpose room and convert multi-purpose room into dining area.  Replace HVAC in original section of building.


There was discussion about the Highland Park school situation. Leroy Tate said that he questioned obtaining more land at that location because of the traffic problem. This was added to the motion, to convert Highland Park Elementary into a PK-8 school with a capacity of 800 and a core capacity of 1,000.  Acquire additional property as needed.


Larry Proaps made an amendment and to add Phase 2 to Phase 1, which included the following:

         A.  Locate suitable property in the 6th district for a new PK-8 school with a

      capacity of 800 and a core capacity of 1,000. Estimated cost $17,500,000 plus land

B.  Renovate original pods at the 3-5 intermediate school. Estimated cost $1,500,000

C.  Renovate and expand the Alternative School areas at LCTC and

     replace HVAC as necessary. Estimated cost $1,900,000  (does not include converting space for Board offices)

Walker was the only no vote on Phase 2 and Phase 1, all other board members voted yes.  


The meeting ended with Director Headlee saying that he would submit the BOE Plan to county commission for their review and funding. Commission is considering a sales tax referendum, a property tax rate increase and a wheel tax.

No information was discussed on the cost of staffing the new and expanded facilities.

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