If Loudon County wants to spend money, spend money on schools!   

By Pat Hunter

County school board members made their concerns known. If the county wants to spend money, spend money on schools instead of costly Study's or renovations for administrative offices for the BOE. Commissioners are you listening? 

Previously, at the Jan 7th Capital Projects Committee meeting, Commissioner David Meers commented that the Williamson House, owned by Loudon City, had suffered extensive water damage and of placing the Planning Office and Economic Development Agency (EDA) under one roof and relocating the BOE to the Tech Center.

The water damage, which Commissioner Meers referenced occurred 3-years ago and the water damage was repaired.

The EDA is a non-profit corporation supported by 3 government entities and Board of Directors. The EDA may relocate anywhere they wish including Loudon City or Lenoir City. The Planning office is supported by 3 government entities and governed by the Executive Planning Council not county commission. If Williamson House is not ADA compliant, the responsibility lies with the owner of the property, Loudon City, to take corrective action about the ADA deficiency.   

Leo Bradshaw proposed spending no more than $10,000 on a Study so Cope and Associates could evaluate the Tech Center and recommend whether to use the building for a school or BOE administrative offices.

Ms. Lisa Russell, a concerned Greenback parent, asked the Capital Projects Committee a legal question, could the BOE offices move their offices from the county seat to Lenoir City since the law states county offices must be located in the county seat? The BOE workshop addressed that issue. 

The Capital Projects Committee decided to ask the BOE for their input before recommending spending $10K on the Study.

Who wants the BOE banished from County Bldg., One Guess?

Just to give you a historical viewpoint, many years ago, the BOE spent money to renovate their end of the building and the County spent money for renovations on the county end of the hallway. When the BOE asked commissioners to share the cost of renovating the county building conference room, commissioners flat refused.

Someone at the BOE Jan. 15th workshop meeting, wanted to know who wanted the Board of Education out of the County Office Building, but no reply?    

D-5 June Klinestiver said that the Tech Center was being utilized for other things.  What are we going to do with all of them, she asked, referring to the programs housed at the Vo Tech.

Ms. Klinestiver spoke softly, “Tell whomever you know that wants to take our building away, they can’t have it!”

D-7 Nancy Paulee asked, what do we do with the Alternative School, which we must have?

School Director Edward Headlee commented that 6-8 years ago, an architect evaluated converting the Tech Center to a Pre-K to 5th grade and the cost was $5Million.

D-1 Bill Marcus added, “If Loudon County is going to spend money, let them spend it on schools!”

Regarding Van Shaver’s story and Ms. Lisa Russell’s concerns. Ms. Russell asked if Loudon County Board of Education offices were required by state law to be located in the county seat? A legal opinion was solicited by the BOE and shared at the workshop meeting. It’s the opinion of legal counsel that BOE offices should be located in the county seat.

(Note: Seventeen programs are currently located at the Tech Center including: Loudon County/Lenoir City Adult Education and GED Classes, Loudon County 6-12 Alternative School, Coordinated School Health Program, Health Educator, CSHP Health/Fitness Center, Loudon County Grant Program Coordinator, Family Resource Center, School Social Worker, Facilities Maintenance Department, Teacher Workshop Center (Loudon County/Lenoir City.)