System officially 'broke ground' last summer
Wilson County Schools Director Dr. Donna Wright said it has been a while since the system celebrated a brand new school.
She spoke to a small crowd of school board members, the county mayor, a commissioner, the Mt. Juliet Chamber director and handful of students who will go to the new Springdale Elementary next May.
"We haven't had a new building since Mt. Juliet Elementary School," Wright said early Tuesday morning at the school site. "We are excited about this opportunity and really thankful for the foresight of our county commission and school board members.
The new K-5 school, located on Central Pike in north Mt. Juliet, will be home next school year to 500 students currently zoned to Stoner Creek and Elzie Patton and new students. The elementary students on hand to help "turn dirt" at the groundbreaking currently attend Stoner Creek and Elzie Patton elementary schools, but will attend Springdale next fall.
Discussions about rezoning to incorporate Springdale into the system are currently taking place, and there will be a parent meeting prior to any changes.
Wilson County Deputy Director Mickey Hall said the school can accommodate 900 students and is similar to the footprint of MJES.
"It's a great day to dedicate a school," Wright said. "This school is one in a massive program to address the population explosion in Wilson County. We've also have several additions and renovations. It's almost symbolic with the Board of Education and the county commission's proactive stance."
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the county commission "is proactive and believes in education."
When asked what they wanted in their new school, the visiting students quipped, "a roof," "lights" and "lots of teachers."
And they didn't forget to add a playground to their wish list.
After the celebration, Wright revealed a study of student population reveals there are 700 more students in the system since last school year.
"Adding about 1,000 a year is predicted in the not so distance future," she said.
Construction began late this summer and Hall noted he hoped teachers would be able to start set up in the new school this coming July, in time for school to open in May.
"It's no secret," Wright said. "We have more building projects going on right now than we've ever had in the history of the Wilson County School System. This area is growing fast and that's exciting! In fact, I want to again commend our county commission for the excellent job they've done helping us fund and manage all the growth responsibly."
Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at email@example.com.