Last month, the Wilson County Budget Committee took no action on the district’s needs assessment list, which included a proposed $110 million new high school in Mt. Juliet on property adjacent to W.A. Wright Elementary School.
Wilson County finance director Aaron Maynard said it would cost an addition 12-18 cents on the property tax rate to fund a new high school in Mt. Juliet, dependent upon how the debt payment is structured.
Wilson County Schools Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall said the district decided to centralize and make the documents available due to the number of requests for information on separate aspects of the project.
The documents include 10 site-selection documents, including a property survey and score sheets for other proposed sites, four public utility documents and high school enrollment numbers since the 2006-2007 school year.
The site selection documents include a civil engineering letter, phase one study, property survey, items considered during the site selection process, geotech report, state hydrologic determination, letter referencing a slave cemetery on the property – which isn’t a part of the project, heat map of current Wilson County high school students, architectural design and layout of the potential high school and score sheets for all proposed sites.
The district’s design team includes representatives from Civil Site Design Group and Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris Architects, who examine the pros and cons of all potential high school sites.
The North Green Hills site scored an 84 out a possible 100 on a KBJM site study, 16 points higher than the next highest ranked site of 64 acres on Benders Ferry Road. Other potential sites included 65 acres at West Division Street near Devonshire Drive; 90 acres on South Mt. Juliet Road; 284 acres on Double Log Cabin Road; and 78 acres at State Route 109 and Highway 70.
Public utility documents include Mt. Juliet sewer, electric and utilities availability.
The heat map shows the location of all Wilson County high school students.
Hall said if the doors to the new high school opened tomorrow, it would have 1,507 students – all from the county’s northwest corner population. He said based on current population and rezoning for the school, Mt. Juliet’s enrollment would drop to 1,363 students, while enrollment would fall to 1,253 at Wilson Central, 1,762 at Lebanon and 523 at Watertown.
As of Aug. 11, Mt. Juliet High School has 2,205 students, followed by Wilson Central with 1,948, Lebanon with 1,937 and Watertown with 528, according to the documents. Hall noted since the 2007-2008 school year, Watertown led the county’s high schools in percentage enrollment growth, followed by Mt. Juliet, Lebanon and Wilson Central.
Since that school year, Mt. Juliet added about 440 students, followed by Lebanon with about 370, Wilson Central with about 340 and Watertown with about 140.
Mt. Juliet and Wilson Central currently have more than 525 students in their freshman class.
The Wilson County Commission will discuss the county’s budget, which includes the Wilson County Schools budget and potentially the new high school funding, Monday at the Wilson County Courthouse. A public hearing on the budget will be at 6 p.m. prior to the 7 p.m. regular meeting.