Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carter Elementary Renovation and Expansion Funding is Delayed

A large, vocal and energetic crowd from the Carter community attended the Knox County Commission meeting on Monday evening. All emotions were experienced, early in the meeting the crowd enthusiastically applauded and celebrated comments that were made to support building a new school instead of the school board's $5.0 million dollar renovation/expansion.

A reminder was brought to the Knox County Commission that the school board and county commission entered into a court approved agreement in 2002 that stipulated that the county commission can not micro manage the decisions of the school board. The renovation/expansion of the Carter Elementary School will create a building of 68,200 square feet. The current facility is 35,000 square feet. The gained square footage includes the new Carter Middle School gymnasium which is included in the renovation and expansion.

A substitute motion was made by Commissioners Mike Hammond and Craig Leuthold to approve the Knox County Schools Capital Plan with the exception of the $5.0 million dollars slated for Carter Elementary / Middle School renovation expansion project. Commissioner Paul Pinkston said the school board asked for $5.0 million and said that they can fix Carter. We could give them $100 million dollars but the school board doesn't have to spend one more dollar on Carter. The substitute motion passed with 10 commissioners in favor, 6 in opposition and 3 absent.

So, the resulting action of the Knox County Commission approved the school boards plans to renovate Chilhowee Intermediate School; Phase 1 upgrades to Gresham Middle School; asphalting of the drive and parking at Ritta Elementary School; system wide facility assessments; a NEW Southwest Elementary School; system wide foundation stabilization's; roof and hvac upgrades and some physical plant upgrades.

The $5.0 million dollars for Carter campus renovations and additions may be brought back to County Commission, next month. But the decision for spending those dollars rest solely with Dr. McIntyre and the Knox County School Board.

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