Somebody Help Me
Somebody's going to have to help me with this one. The story below is about the need for a new middle school in Loudon. School board member Bill Marcus is quoted as saying;
The school board has adopted a plan. Eight out of ten board members voted for the plan. Voting no were Bill Marcus and Leroy Tate. In the adopted plan nobody's first. Both schools are in Phase I.
Does school board member Bill Marcus not know that his wife, county commissioner Nancy Marcus, has now twice voted against the very building plan that would build a new middle school for Loudon?
So who has "selfish motives"?
2 Loudon County schools face overcrowding problems; educators hope for relief
By ERICA ESTEP
6 News Anchor/Reporter
LOUDON (WATE) -- For nearly a decade, Loundon County officials have made efforts to get a school building program off the ground.
Greenback School has been in the headlines the most due to gas leaks, mold, and structural issues.
But two more Loudon County schools facing challenges with overcrowding.
Ft. Loudoun Middle and neighboring Loudon Elementary are bursting at the seams with students.
The classes at Ft. Loudoun Middle School are jam packed. "Our teachers, I would like to say do an excellent job with the lack of space that they are provided," says Assistant Principal Jeremy Lorenz.
Instructors are teaching two classes in a room separated by what were supposed to be temporary walls. Students have to go through one classroom to get to another.
The need for space is so great, a former boy's locker room is now home to band practice and the old shower serves as storage.
Another locker room has been converted into a computer lab. A storage closet is also the PE teacher's office.
The cafeteria is only separated from the gym by a curtain. Outside portable classrooms are also filled to capacity.
Even the principal and assistant principal share tight quarters. They've heard rumblings about a building program for nearly a decade and hope it's finally close to reality.
"We, at some point, have to make that commitment," Lorenz says. "I think that it has gone by the wayside, but I think that now, just you being here, means that it's coming back to the forefront. I think that someday soon we will be in a building that Loudon can be proud of."
If a new school is built to replace Ft. Loudoun Middle, officials hope to combine the current school with neighboring Loudon Elementary. The entire fourth and fifth grades attend classes in portable trailers.
Teachers say it's not the best way to learn and the school board member representing them admits a school building program is more than a decade overdue.
"We are over crowded. Our children are in portables right now, walking back and forth. The instructional time that they lose going back and forth is phenomenal," says third grade teacher Jennifer Wood.
"We need a plan for the future," explains school board member Bill Marcus. "We need to all buy into that plan and the selfish motives need to be out of it."
"Once we devise a plan, then everybody needs to say, yeah I agree with that whether I'm first or not," Marcus adds.
Ft. Loudoun Middle School and Greenback School are slated to get new facilities, and Philadelphia School will get cafeteria improvements in phase one of the building project.
County commissioners are waiting for new drawings and cost analysis before approving funding to move forward.