Land Ho!

In what could only be described as an unusual move, the Loudon County Board Of Education voted Thursday night to pursue the purchase of a 42 acre piece of property for $400,000.00 for future school construction. The property is located at the end of Hewins Road off Shaw Ferry Road.

At the previous BOE workshop, Director Jason Vance and board members discussed the possible construction of a 7 thru 12 middle/high school on the upper end of the county.   

The idea of the BOE buying property might not be such odd decision except for the fact they already own 80 acres on Hwy. 321 for future school construction. They paid 2.2 million dollars for that property which is now up for sale.

The new property the board wants to buy has no road frontage, no sewer service, no adequate water service and has a TVA electric line over a portion of the property.

Not withstanding the fact that they already have 80 acres of vacant property, nor the major deficiencies the property they want to buy, out going 5th district school board member, Jeremy Buckles, made the motion to buy the property. His motion was seconded by Dr. Music Best. Voting for the motion were board members Scott Newman, Leroy Tate, Phil Moffet, Dr. Professor Ubben, Buckles and Best. Kenny Ridings abstained. Bobby Johnson Jr., William Jenkins and Craig Simon were absent.

Any contract to purchase the property should include a contingency clause indicating the Loudon County School Board has up to 6 months to obtain additional property acceptable to the school board either by purchase or easement to provide appropriate road access to the property according to the handout provided by director Vance.

No decision was reached as to where they plan to get the money for the land buy. However it was mentioned that they could take it from their fund balance. This is the same fund balance the board claimed last year was so low, a property tax increase was needed just to keep them afloat.

The idea that the BOE would buy another parcel of near unusable property does sort of stagger the mind. You'd might think they would at least wait till they sell the last parcel of near unusable property they bought. Guess not.

One would have to wonder what the folks on Hewins Road and Shaw Ferry would think about having a new school dropped into their neighborhood.

Just in case you have never heard of the BOE's last land deal or maybe you've forgotten, below are links to those stories.

Something Stinks, You Won't Believe This One
Something Stinks, Part II, Safe Harbor
What A Deal