By Lisa Russell
Loudon County School Board
Recently there has been what some say are fresh arguments, others say debates that may add even more delays to the long awaited Building Plan for Loudon County.
So lets look at the timeline involving the Loudon County Schools Building Plan Process.
This should give an indication as to how long the process, discussions, and decisions over the years that have brought us to the point we are at today in the bid to finally have the Building Program become a reality.
May 2005 School Officials say district needs to build new school facilities. There was an In- House study done by school Assistant Director. The results were questioned by County Commissioner because of the high projected growth.
November 2005 Land purchased for Greenback School
January 2006- August 2006 Land purchased in Lenoir City and on Hwy 321.
August September 2006 Commission and School Board agree to hire an outside consultant, the Knoxville Public Building Authority to complete study of Loudon County Schools at a cost of $46,000.00.
March 2007 Results of PBA Study Recommendation of New Pre-K 12 for Greenback and wing expansions for all other schools Total Cost $48,000,000.00
May 2007 School Board voted to have Community Tectonics conduct a Feasibility Study of Greenback School to determine possible uses of the existing facility. Their staff Examined both the educational and physical aspects of the existing facility.
June 2007 Feasibility study results presented. Three different options the most cost effective was to build a new Pre-K 12 School.
September 2008 Several New Members elected to School Board. Discussion of School Building Plan. Director will bring a recommendation.
January 2009 - School Board voted for current building plan as follows (from minutes of meeting)
Roll Call Vote on Building Program Phase I & Phase II
Aye Simon, Harrelson, Shaver, Newman, Russell, Johnson, Proaps
No- Ubben, Tate, Marcus
February 2009- Director Honeycutt presented figures for Phase I building program. Don Shell with Community Tectonics answered questions for the board. After much discussion All projects voted individually and all passed. Also voted this meeting to confirm Community Tectonics as architects for Philadelphia, FLMS and Greenback Passed. Confirmation of Merit Construction as Construction Management Company Passed.
**Meetings from this point forward were: April 2009- January 2010 a total in this time span of 10 regular School Board Meetings and 4 Building & Maintenance Committee Meeting all to discuss, make change, vote, ask questions, ASK County Commission for funding to proceed with architect expenses and see presentations of the School Building Plan.
January 27, 2010 Special called meeting to Review Phase I Building Plan for School Board. One change at this meeting was to add a Black Box Theater to the New FLMS.
February 8, 2010 - Joint Meeting of Commission and School Board to Present Phase I Building Program Plans.
**Meetings after this were from March 2010 November 2010 for a total of 4 meetings to discuss, make changes, vote, ask questions, ASK County Commission for funding to proceed with Architect and Fire Marshal expenses.
April 2011 - Motion to start changes to Greenback in reducing size and cost. Passed
May 2011 Motion to approve revised plan for Greenback at a cost savings of 6 ML. Passed
May 2011 Joint Meeting between County Commission and School Board to discuss changes and funding options of School Building Program.
I hope you can all see that this has been a work in progress for quite a long time, 6 years to be exact and there has been a lot of time, money, studies by professionals, debate, changes and meetings involved throughout this entire planning process. I dont know how much more could have been done to make sure we are making the best decisions possible for our County Schools. I hope the County Commission will continue to support and fund this Building Plan that we have so studiously planned. Our children in this County have been waiting for a VERY LONG time for this to come to fruition and I hope they are not made to wait any longer.
Lisa Russell Loudon County School BoardGreenback, TN