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presstalk 671-TALK

Editor’s Note: Due to the number of calls commenting on the school zone issue, presstalk type has been reduced to allow room for the comments.

• I’m calling in support … the proposed zoning for Hardin Valley High School. … It has relieved overcrowding by moving 650 students, which is one-third the student body, out of Farragut High School. Taking any more would destroy Farragut High School and all the programs that have taken years to build. Additionally taking those students from the west end of Farragut would put those students in harm’s way. They would have to travel on Watt Road and Everett Road. Watt Road is the location of three huge truck stops, a trucking company terminal, a freight lines dealership, and open materials quarry and many other truck-related facilities. It’s simply not safe to mix tractor-trailer trucks and dump trucks with teenage drivers and school buses. Within a 37-minute time frame, 105 tractor-trailer trucks and 45 dump trucks were counted on Watt and Everett roads. During the same time frame our children will be traveling to Hardin Valley High School. Please keep safety in mind when you’re trying to populate Hardin Valley High School.

• I’m calling about the proposed zone for Hardin Valley High School, and I call in support of that zone as it was presented last week. Despite the MPC’s projection that Hardin Valley High School will only increase by 36 students in six years, the reality is that Hardin Valley area is a developing community and communities are built around high schools. Soon there will be a major grocery store as an anchor tenant of a strip-mall at Hardin Valley. A popular convenience store will soon be building near Hardin Valley High School and a second retail center is also expected soon. Within the proposed Hardin Valley High School zone, there are over 2,500 blocks already planned for residential development. We should expect much growth in the Hardin Valley area.

• School Board meeting discussions on 11-20 talked about concerns of increasing the initial enrollment numbers at Hardin Valley High School. The proposal is to do this at the expense of Farragut High School. One option was to cut Farragut High School back to 1,200 students, which is less than half the current enrollment. During the initial public meetings, they said they did not wish to destroy the community’s fabric through rezoning, but this could desperately destroy the best school in the county. Destroying the Farragut community simply to populate Farragut High School now is wrong, it does not provide for the natural growth that will occur at Hardin Valley and will likely require rezoning back to Farragut High School in the future. We disagree with this strongly and would like to see something done that makes sense.

• I’m calling concerning the rezoning for Hardin Valley High School. … The school should be started smaller than what was proposed, which alleviates the overcrowding at Farragut High School but also takes into consideration the development that’s going to happen at Hardin Valley, which I think the MPC has grossly underestimated. Their statistics show an increase of only 36 students over seven years. That doesn’t sound quite accurate to me.

• I attended the Knox County Board of Education meeting on Nov. 20, in which the MPC claims that the recommended Hardin Valley High School zone would grow by only 36 students between 2008 and 2014. That projection is simply not credible. Hardin Valley is a developing community and the new high school will spawn even more development. Two retail centers and a [supermarket chain] are already being developed in Hardin Valley. [About] 2,700 residential lots are already being proposed for the Hardin Valley High zone. Please do not cannibalize Farragut High School for even more students for Hardin Valley High School. Please support school zones recommended … on Nov. 20.

• I’m calling in reference to the high school rezoning. I’m encouraging parents to become involved in the process that will allow them the opportunity to talk to their councilmen and encourage their councilmen to approve the proposal as … presented [Nov. 20].

• The Boyd Station Road underpass is already playing a role in the Knox County school rezoning issue. Since school buses cannot pass through there, Knox County routes students from south of the Boyd Station underpass to Kingston Pike via Concord Road. That means those students hit Kingston Pike at the foot of the Farragut schools, and by Knox County transportation regulations they must attend those schools. Unless Knox County changes its transportation rules, the students who are south of the Boyd Station underpass will continue in the Farragut school zone.

• I’m calling in regard to the proposed zoning for the new Hardin Valley High School. I support the zone proposed … last week. [The] proposal will leave 1,400 students at Farragut High School. But several school board members noted they felt the proposed zone did not take enough students, and feel an additional 250 students should be moved. This would leave only 1,200 students at Farragut, cutting the total number of students by one-half the current enrollment. This would seriously reduce the number of AP courses and decimate our athletics program. Please support the current proposal ….

• I am calling about the west side rezoning. I believe that the school board should approve the proposal that was given … at the Nov. 20 meeting. The reason for that is that this proposal meets the objectives of why Hardin Valley was created: to relieve overcrowding from Farragut High School, Bearden High School and Karns High School. To take this proposal any further and add more people from the Farragut High School proposed zone and add them to Hardin Valley will alleviate overcrowding at Farragut High School by 650 students, on one-third of the student body. This will actually change what is offered in the core curriculum at Farragut High School. So even for those children that are still zoned to the high school, they will not have the same kind of programs available to them both academically and from an extra-curricular and athletic standpoint. I hope that people call their school board members and ask them to accept the proposal …

• This is in regards to the … proposed zone for Hardin Valley High School and Farragut High School. I believe the proposal … put out last week should stand as is because all over the county parents requested that when it’s possible the feeder schools should be kept together. The proposed HVHS zone supports this. It keeps students with a consistent school elevation from the primary school, the intermediate school, and Farragut Middle School to Farragut High School. It needs to stay where it is.

• I would just like to make a comment about the panhandlers, or bums, or whatever they are. I offered one, one day, some food and something to drink — actually gave him some food and purchased some things for him to eat and found out that all he wanted was money because he got up and left and left everything laying there. So, I wouldn’t give a dime to these people. Every time that you see them, you need to tell them to move on.

• I’m sitting here reading this week’s presstalks, and I’m concerned about all the Farragut people who have called in concerned they will lose programs if the school size changes and considers those students having to “fall on a sword” if they get rezoned, and worried about them traveling winding roads to get to school. Why aren’t we concerned about Karns, Bearden or Hardin Valley students losing or not having programs? Why aren’t they considered falling on a sword? Already, some of them travel winding roads every day to get to school. Farragut residents are so obsessed with being superior, they’re willing to do anything to stack the deck to ensure Farragut gets the best deal. Why don’t we go ahead and have everyone register their GPA and take an athletic ability test and we can rezone and you can have state champions and high scores.

• Editorial freedom is a wonderful concept, but it does come with its responsibilities. With that in mind, the farragutpress has developed policies that will be followed regarding the publication of presstalk comments:

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• Because of space limitations, not every comment will be published. Also, portions of the 30-second message may be omitted, but the basic message of the call will remain intact.

• Vulgar language will not be printed.

That’s it. The forum is open for comments regarding anything you have on your mind — local politics, world affairs, sports, religion, community affairs, city-county unification or anything else.


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