Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

WC Schools projects a sign of district's growth

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A rendering of the soon to be new Wilson County Schools central office, relocated to the former Lebanon High School. Photo courtesy Wilson County Schools

To say the county is in a school-building frenzy is an understatement. There are simultaneous multiple renovations, additions and construction on line at this moment.

Just Tuesday the system celebrated the unveiling of a $2.8 million renovation at Mt. Juliet Middle School with a new auditorium, lighting and expanded stage.

Relocated Central Office

Construction begins in a few weeks for the relocated system Central Office to the former Lebanon High School building. This is an approved and funded $20.7 million project.

Currently scattered across the county, this move will centralize most of the system's departments, said schools PIO Jennifer Johnson.

These departments at the to-be-renovated former school include food services, the Adult High School, Basic Education, Pre-K, family resources, extended schools, records, storage, teacher training and resource centers, safety director, training rooms and conference rooms, a 600-seat auditorium and a larger board room. Not slated for the new central office space are maintenance, technology and transportation.

A breakdown of costs includes, $885,000 for insurance, $1.3 million for food service, and $1.281 BEP growth money from the state for additional students, according to system officials.

As far as the soon-to-be-former adult high school building, it belongs to the county and will stay as county property. The current food services building is leased and will no longer be paid for after November 2017.

Johnson indicated selling the former LHS - with appraisal amount, and after asbestos removal and everything else needed, - for profit would be negligible, so the decision to renovate and use for centralizing departments was made.

Gladeville Elementary and Tuckers Crossroads

Currently, renovations are underway at Gladeville Elementary and Tucker's Crossroads. The slab has been poured at Gladeville, and inside renovations of the old gym are under way. This project will be completed July 2017 and will have the capacity to hold about 800 students.

At Tucker's, a portion of this project will open this week. The cafeteria and band room are among the renovations and a new loop is in progress to get cars off Big Springs Road. There will also be a new addition, and both this and the renovations are slated to be completed July of 2017. With this renovation, the front of the school will face Big Springs Road.

Watertown Elementary

Watertown Elementary is also scheduled for renovation. The school now exists in three separate buildings. These will be connected, with a new cafeteria and a gym as a centerpiece to connect all three buildings.

Also, as reported in The Wilson Post, the school board and the City of Mt. Juliet are in the final stages of settling a lawsuit for previously unpaid city liquor taxes.

Part of the discussion at the city meeting Monday night was the county donating three acres of land on at North Green Hill and Lebanon roads, with the whole parcel bought by the county for $4,175,271.

Springdale Elementary School

Springdale Elementary School on Central Pike is underway. According to Johnson, as of Oct. 3, the gym and cafeteria were under roof. And as of Monday, Mt. Juliet city commissioner gave the nod to start sewer work there as well.

A re-zone will take place in the near future to help relieve the pressure of too many students both at Elzie Patton and Stoner Creek in Mt. Juliet. Some students will go to the new Springdale school.

There will be parent meetings in November to discuss the zoning that ultimately has to be approved by the Wilson County School Board. However, it's believed students who are in their last year at these two schools will be able to stay their final year.

Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at laurieeverett1@gmail.com.

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Tags: 
Central Office, construction, Donna Wright, education, Gladeville Elementary, growth, Lebanon High School, renovation, schools, Springdale Elementary, Tuckers Crossroads, Watertown Elementary, Wilson County Schools
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