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School zoning update

We have finished our community meetings and compiled all of the suggestions and comments.

I want to thank you for the comments, suggestions, e-mails and phone calls.

I understand the concerns of parents and students that live in the town of Farragut as well as the parents and students living outside the town of Farragut. The re-zoning process is not an easy process and our school system has not embarked on a massive re-zoning process like this in many years. The proposed school zone for Hardin Valley High School will be presented to the School Board at our meeting Monday, Nov. 20.

I encourage everyone to watch this meeting on television if possible. If you plan to attend the meeting, please note that the space at the Andrew Johnson Building is not suited for a large audience. I encourage you to attend the Monday, Dec. 4 School Board meeting at Fulton High School, as this also will be your chance to address the School Board. We moved this meeting to Fulton High School because the large assembly room at the City/County Building is not available. Fulton High School is the only alternative where we can accommodate a large crowd and broadcast our meeting on live television. The School Board will take action regarding the proposed HVHS school zone on Wednesday, Dec. 6. I encourage you to call and send e-mail to all School Board members, as all School Board members will vote on the proposed school zone for HVHS.

I thought it would be beneficial for me to share with you some of my thoughts as well as the questions I have received regarding growth and impact to our school system.

We are in this situation due to poor planning. The town of Farragut continues to expand at an alarming rate as well as West Knox County (Northshore and Choto Road areas). As noted above, I have received numerous phone calls and e-mails asking some very interesting questions. I thought I would share the questions with you as they raise some very interesting points.

Do you think land developers; builders and realtors worry about growth and the impact to our school system? Does Knox County or the town of Farragut, have a plan in place to slow down residential development? Does our local government have a plan in place to assess the impact of this development as it relates to our school system? Will the town of Farragut and Knox County use impact fees like Loudon County? Can FHS support all of the students in the town of Farragut over the next five to 10 years? Do we have plans to build a new Elementary School in Farragut or West Knox County?

As far as limiting growth in certain areas of our county or in the town of Farragut, I cannot provide the answer. I will defer this question to the town of Farragut Mayor [W. Edward Ford III] and our 5th District County Commissioners Mike Hammond, Craig Leuthold and John Griess. I will note that County Commissioner Mike Hammond referenced in a previous County Commission meeting the large number of building permits approved in West Knox County.

The town of Farragut Web site has data regarding building permits and you can view this data at

Since Sept. 1, I have learned that several areas of our local government must share data and work together to understand the impact of growth as it relates to our school system. The Metropolitan Planning Commis-sion, The Public Building Authority, the schools system and a third party consulting group are completing a study on our school facilities. Some of the factors used in the study: building age, condition, projected growth or decline of the population and functional capacity. The results of this study will provide your elected officials county commissioners, county mayor and School Board the roadmap regarding the building of new schools as well as upgrading existing schools. I am a proponent of this study only if the study is truly non-partisan and non-biased as politics should not be a factor in this study. I plan to share the results of this study as soon as I receive them.

Thanks for reading my column. I will provide additional details regarding our school system very soon.

Please visit my blog at http://thomasdeakins.blogspot.

com for updates as well.


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