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Board of Education selects West Knox school designer

The Knox County Board of Education took a few more steps toward a new West Knox County high school at its meeting last week by first approving its designers — The Lewis Group Architects (see related Chamber story this week).

As for where the school will be built, the Board passed a resolution to work with Knoxville Community Development Corporation and representative Dan Tiller to locate suitable land and negotiate purchase price.

Board Member Chuck James (District 6) asked Tiller to specify where he would be searching.

Tiller responded, “We need some kind of direction from this board.”

James asked if Knox County Schools staff could specify a “box” for Tiller to work from.

Board Chairman Dr. Dan Murphy requested from Superintendent Dr. Charles Lindsey that such a clarification be drawn up quickly and shared with the board.

Board Member Cindy Buttry (District 3) said, “I don’t want this board to be boxed in by this box.”

James also inquired about unused land on the Hardin Valley Elementary School site. Tiller told the Board he would soon be meeting with owners of acreage adjacent to the school. Adjacent land in addition to land on the HVES site could be enough acreage to accommodate a new high school, he added. Whether the site would fulfill all the requirements to house a high school is another matter.

Tiller added he had already spoken with many interested West Knox landowners but that their land was found not suitable for numerous reasons, one being access.

“Access has been a major problem,” he said stating another challenge — owners in talks with KCDC who wish to remain nameless for as long as possible because they don’t want neighbors upset with them.

Lindsey told farragutpress he is still looking toward the fall of 2008 to open the new school — a quicker turnaround than with typical new school construction; the next major step in the process will be to hire a construction manager.

“We’re not going to be able go more than a couple or three months before we have to

have land,” Lindsey said. “If we’re sitting here six months to a year from now and still don’t have land, that is really gonna create some problems.”


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