Nothing For Greenback

In what's become almost a predictable outcome, looks like there are still some commissioners who just don't want a new school in Greenback. At Monday's commission workshop, 4th district commissioner, Roy Bledsoe, who represents Philadelphia, told commissioners that he plans to put forth a motion at the January commission meeting to go ahead and begin the renovation/expansion of the Philadelphia cafeteria and also to fund the new middle school at Loudon. Bledsoe suggested if these two projects get underway, it would allow the board to look at other projects. The new school at Greenback was not in his recommendation.

Commissioner Austin Shaver questioned whether it was even legal for commission to make such a motion. Shaver and other commissioners have stated repeatedly that it is the school boards responsibility to determine the building needs and commissions responsibility to provide the funding.

Shaver also went on to question a decision that would leave Greenback out of the building program. At an earlier meeting director of schools, Wayne Honeycutt, had been asked what he felt was biggest need of the building program. Honeycutt, stated that it was depending on ones view point. He said if you only considered over crowding, Loudon Elementary would be first but if you consider safety, Greenback would first priority.  With that Shaver stated to commissioners, "I don't know how we could consider student overcrowding a higher priority than student safety." With that, Bledsoe stated that  the Loudon schools also had safety problems. He told commissioners that the other day when the winds were blowing so hard, there was some who worried about the trailers at the Loudon campus. There was no mention of the trailers on the Greenback campus.

This is just another version of the same thing. Anything and everything but Greenback. No one will dispute that they're are many needs throughout the entire school system but nothing compares with the needs at Greenback. Which school has had to have fireman walk the halls during school hours due to safety concerns? Which school has been closed numerous times over the last few years for gas leaks? Which school has been closed for sewer problems? Which school has a core of it's facility that's 50, 60, and 70 years old? Of course it's Greenback. No other school in the entire system even comes close to having the life safety issues faced by the students at Greenback.

The commission is planning to vote on Bledsoe's motion at their January commission meeting. If that motion passes commission, it will be up to the school board to decide if they will accept the commissions directive or opt rather to stick with their proposed building plan which includes a new school at Greenback.