Children who live in Ridgeland subdivision have always expected to go to Farragut Middle School. But once a new school opens in the summer of 2018, that will change. Those students will be part of the first class at Hardin Valley Middle School.
A preliminary zoning proposal was released by Knox County Schools a couple of weeks ago, about the same time that construction began.
Under that proposal, about 130 students will move from Farragut Middle School to the new school when it opens in summer 2018.
Weston Edmonds, principal at FMS, said student population is tied to teachers and programs.
“We’re losing kids and we never like to lose kids,” he said. “There was originally talk of FMS losing as many as 200 students.
When there’s talk of cutting a large number, you get worried about losing programs, but this proposal is a modest cut.”
According to KCS, FMS currently has 1,436 students. The enrollment projections for FMS and HVMS, once the rezoning is in effect in 2018, will be 1,300 at FMS and 850 at HVMS for 2018-19.
The zoning is spelled out on the Knox County Schools website. “Hardin Valley Middle zone would include all of the existing Hardin Valley Elementary zone and a portion of Ball Camp Elementary zone east of Pellissippi Parkway and north of Lovell Road. It also includes all of the current Farragut Middle zone north of I-40/I-75, west of Pellissippi Parkway, north of Kingston Pike and east of Lovell Road.”
Work by Denark Construction is underway on the building designed by Barber McMurry Architects. The 170,000-square-foot two-story middle school will accommodate 1,200 students. “It’s been a good process because there’s been so much dialogue,” Edmonds said. “We held a community meeting here on Nov. 28. where parents and community members could ask questions of officials from Knox County Schools. It seems like Knox County Schools has really listened to the community.”
“I think that Knox County Schools has done a remarkable job in trying to listen to what the people in the community wanted and worked very hard to be accommodating, but it’s not done yet,” said Terry Hill, Knox County Board of Education representative for District 6.
“To my knowledge, the date for the next community meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet, but I expect it to be in April. I’m excited to get the new school open and relieve crowding at Karns and Farragut. It’s just a win for everybody.”
“I’ve received no complaints from parents in [the areas being rezoned],” said Susan Horn, District 5 school board representative. “Knox County Schools attempts to align feeder patterns when possible and I’m happy to see that can be accomplished for these students and families. Of course, it’s important to note that this is a proposed plan and has not been approved yet.”