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Commission, school board to discuss future next week

Xavier Smith • Feb 9, 2018 at 2:05 PM

The Wilson County Commission will meet with the Wilson County Board of Education next week to discuss Wilson County Schools construction.

“Our goal is to stay on top of the building program,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

The meeting will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. in commission chambers at the Wilson County Courthouse. 
The commission approved $1.55 million last year for Wilson County Schools to conduct design services for a potential new high school in Mt. Juliet.

The group also amended the resolution to require the district to put the project out for bid before it approves funds for construction. The design authorization does not signify the groups’ commitment to spend $110 million for a new high school, which is the estimated cost. 

Hutto said the work session would look to answer some questions that have surrounded the potential high school.

“So, we’ve got some folks coming that night to answer those questions at a work session between our [Wilson County Board of Education] and our county commission. Then, on Thursday, we’ll start looking at how we fund that,” Hutto said.

The Thursday session will take place at the conclusion of the Wilson County Education Committee meeting, which will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse. No votes or action will be taken during the workshop.

Hutto said the groups would continue to work over the next four months to fund education projects.

The Budget Committee took no action last year on the district’s needs assessment list, which included the 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 additional 12-18 cents on the property tax rate to fund a new high school in Mt. Juliet, unless a new funding source is found, dependent upon how the debt payment is structured.

Hutto said the county was on schedule with the district’s building plan, introduced two years ago, and the $1.5 million commitment would keep the county on par with the plans if the commission agrees to fund the Mt. Juliet high school in the first half of this year.

“In May, you would know everything and can sit down and talk about them and make a decision. At that time, they would be done with the design phase, and it would be able to go out to bid,” Hutto said last year.

The timeline would leave about 26 months for construction before the targeted opening in 2020.

Wilson County Planning Office director Tom Brashear said last year projections show the county’s population would increase from the 2015 estimated population of 131,060 to at or near 222,490 people by 2040.

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