Staff readies new Fort Loudoun Middle for first day of school
JILL MCNEAL-6 News Anchor/Reporter
LOUDON (WATE) - There's a busy weekend ahead for some teachers in Loudon County as they move into a brand new building. The new Fort Loudoun Middle School will welcome students for the first day of class on Wednesday.
"This is something that this school and this community has fought for for years and years and I'm just so blessed to be a part of it," said first-year principal Christie Amburn.
She said their enrollment of 350 students had long since outgrown the old building, which was set-up on the pod system. The lunchroom, stage and gym were all open and connected and there was only one science lab for the whole school that also doubled as a regular classroom.
In the new school, there's a science lab in every wing. That makes veteran science teacher Jeana Gray almost giddy.
"This building means the world to us. We feel like we're in a dream right now because it's state-of-the art, what our children deserve," Gray said.
Another feature of the new building is added security, like a full time school resource officer, 120 security cameras and outside doors that lock right after the first bell. That means all visitors have to go through the front office before they can have access to the rest of the building.
And the new school has room to grow, with the potential to serve more than 600 students. Now the only challenge is getting everything ready for that first bell.
"There's still some construction going on in the lower wing of the building so we won't have access to the art room, band room, gym or auditorium for a few days," Amburn said.
But she said the classrooms, and the staff, will be ready to welcome students with open arms.
The old Fort Loudoun Middle School will now be used to house the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades from the adjacent Loudon Elementary School. They were previously using portable classrooms.