Walls go up at new Greenback school

JOSH AULT-6 News Reporter

GREENBACK (WATE) - The walls are going up on a much-anticipated school building in Loudon County.

The building will replace the current Greenback School which houses grades K-12.

"It's beautiful," said Greenback resident Bambi Walker. "It's huge and the kids deserve it."

"We've always been told that there would be a new school some day and it's such a joy to see this new school," said Greenback resident Judy Martin.

Residents have called for the school to be replaced because of overcrowding and a number of maintenance issues, including gas leaks, septic problems, peeling paint, and fire code violations.

Construction on the new school started in April 2012.

"They are doing a fantastic job over there," said Loudon County Director of Schools Jason Vance.

Vance says they are on budget, and plan to start school in the new building in January 2014.

"They will probably be narrowing construction in the fall, so that will give us a little bit of time to transition," said Vance.

The new school is being funded by a $24 million bond that was approved by the county commission.

People who live in Greenback are ready for the school to open.

"We moved here 12 years ago," said Greenback resident June DeLuca, "Ever since we've been here they've talked about a new school, so we were really happy to see them get a new school. They needed it really bad, so we are really happy to see that happen."

Vance says they are unsure what they will do with the old school. He says they will first try to sell it, but if that does not happen they may tear it down.

Greenback School expected to open Jan. 2014

wbir.com-The director of Loudon County Schools expects the new Greenback School to open by the start of the Spring 2014 semester.

"We're proud that we're on time and we're on schedule, and things seem to be rolling great," said director Jason Vance on Tuesday.

The current Greenback School houses some 900 students, from kindergarten through 12th grade. It is one of the handful of k-12 public schools in Tennessee.

"It's very unique," said parent Julie Anderson. "The benefits of having all your children in one location."

The seasonable weather these past 14 months prevented any stalls, according to director Vance.

He added the original Greenback School, built in that damage caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. The new building will be able to withstand much more from mother nature with stronger walls and roof.

County bonds and a property tax increase will cover the construction expenses, when the plan passed in July 2011.

"It is absolutely a building that's bigger. We believe that you should build not what you have for today, but what you're going to have in the future. Additionally, we want to have classrooms conducive for learning," Vance said.

The total cost of the new Greenback School is short of $24 million.

"Every time we drive by, we're by it every day at school, and it's been nonstop. I'm one of those 'I'll believe it when I see it.' And we're seeing it," Anderson said.