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KCS mulls options
McIntyre urges new school versus renovations

Knox County Schools Superintendent James McIntyre submitted two proposals to Knox County Board of Education to help alleviate overcrowding in southwest Knox County elementary schools, Monday, June 15.

One option would see a brand new school built and renovations on another and the second would be to renovate four schools, including Farragut Intermediate School.

The proposals stem from McIntyre’s plan for “priority concepts for major capital projects,” which was approved by the Board this winter.

McIntyre supports the first option.

The new school would be built on a plot of land at Northsore Town Center near Pellissippi Parkway.

McIntyre said he has been in discussions with the owners at Northshore Town Center, and although no deal has been finalized, he would, at the Board’s July voting meeting, request approval of an amendment to the Board’s capital plan to allocate $5 million in undesignated Fiscal Year 2010 capital funds toward land acquisition for a new southwest Knox County elementary school.

In a memo to the Board outlining his recommendation, McIntyre said while analyzing and comparing the options, two factors became evident.

“First, there is an urgent need to address anticipated growth in the Hardin Valley Elementary and Ball Camp Elementary areas as well as in southwest Knox County. Secondly, when comparing the construction of a new facility with the additions and renovations to existing facilities, the cost differential for new construction calculates to only about $33 per student, before taking into account long- term maintenance savings associated with a new school facility versus a renovated older building,” he said.

According to McIntyre, this option has a total projected cost of $25,250,000 and includes making renovations to Ball Camp Elementary School.

Option two would be to provide additions and renovations to Blue Grass, Ball Camp and Hardin Valley elementary schools as well as Farragut Intermediate School.

About the renovations at FIS, McIntyre said the proposed $8,200,000 addition would provide classroom space for approximately 750 students.

“This project would allow the movement of the second grade from Farragut Primary School, increase the core capacity in the media center and provide for the elimination of the modular classroom buildings at both Farragut Primary and Farragut Intermediate.

“The net increase at both schools combined would be approximately 200 students,” he added.

The total anticipated cost for option two is $25,015,000.

If the Board accepts McIntyre’s recommendation and votes to build a new school, Farragut likely would go through the rezoning process again.

Returning calls made to McIntyre, Russ Oaks, director of Public Affairs, said, “If you build a new school, the school obviously has to have a zone created for it, so there would be some rezoning.

“There are probably seven or eight or more options to how you could zone students to meet the capacity needs.”

When asked if the process would be similar to that of creating a zone for Hardin Valley Academy, Oaks said, “I wouldn’t compare it to anything because that is still part of the process we have to go through at this point. I wouldn’t speculate what it would look like.”


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