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Seal property proposed for new school
McFee Road property proposed by Deakins for new elementary school in southwest Knox County

The Seal property off of McFee Road has been proposed for a new southwest Knox County elementary school.

The Seal property was not in the initial four properties Knox County School Board considered for the new elementary school. However, Thomas Deakins, Knox County School Board member representing District 6, has suggested the Seal property be considered.

Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill said, “[The town of Farragut] had purchased that land last year, with the notion that it would be a park or a school. Obviously, this particular piece of property comes into play for the proposed elementary school.

“We are going to need a new one somewhere in this corner,” McGill added.

Currently, only four land options are being seriously considered for the new elementary school.

And of the four, Deakins said, “I don’t have an opinion on any of those locations at this time. What I had asked the superintendent to do is look at one more parcel of land.”

“I wanted them to see if it would be suitable for an elementary school and if it would meet our goals of what we’re trying to achieve in regard to being able to provide capacity for the additional students we are forecasting in the southwest sector,” Deakins added.

Three properties in the deep southwest peninsula known as Choto and one off Northshore Drive at Northshore Town Center are the main prospects. The Northshore option would rezone 700 A.L. Lotts Elementary School students.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre said, “We have to plan for both [current and future students]. In five to seven years, we are expecting 500 more students in this sector. We have to plan for them.”

Previously, McFee Manor residents had shared their concerns with Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen for the Seal property to be used as a school. But for the current proposal this year, McFee Manor residents have not expressed their opinions this year.

McGill and McIntyre said they welcome feedback from residents. Based on Deakins’ suggestion of the McFee area, “We’ll meet or talk with the Town” to see what they are thinking about that, McIntyre said.

“Everyone has the opportunity to speak their piece sooner or later. I have to govern on the basis of what benefits the most people,” McGill said.

Of the four properties and now the newly proposed McFee property by Deakins, McIntyre has not yet made a recommendation.

“Each site has advantages and disadvantages. The four are viable sites and all would be terrific,” McIntyre said.

Tom Rosseel, former Farragut alderman and supportor of purchasing the Seal property, said, “I’m fully supportive of Deakins’ position for the Seal property to be used for the school. This would help alleviate overcrowding. The school would have close proximity to McFee Park.

“Plus, these two features would generally be considered an amenity for [home] property value. To me, having a school by your house is great,” Rosseel added.

With or without an elementary school off McFee, Rosseel said, “McFee will get more traffic, there’s no doubt about that.”

With a school, Rosseel said, it’s important to realize traffic “is not going to be like Campbell Station Road’s because of its student population. McFee would be about less than one-fifth of the population that Campbell Station has.”

Consideration for the Seal property is in the beginning stages with Knox County School Board members.

There will not be another meeting regarding property selection with Knox County School Board until at least mid-January or February, Deakins said.


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