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County schools rezoning meetings rescheduled

Xavier Smith • Feb 9, 2018 at 2:06 PM

A pair of Wilson County Schools community meetings originally set for next week to discuss potential rezoning options for Mt. Juliet-area middle schools and the latest on a future Mt. Juliet high school was rescheduled for next month.

The meetings will discuss possible rezoning options with the opening of Gladeville Middle School, expected next year.

School officials made the announcement after classes were cancelled Thursday and Friday due to illness. The meetings were originally scheduled for Monday evening at West Wilson Middle School and Wednesday evening at Mt. Juliet Middle School.

Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall said the school would house sixth- through eighth-grade students with a capacity of about 1,500. He said the school would be a combination of several schools, but resemble the new high schools on a smaller scale. 

He said one of the most notable differences from high school designs would be two spiral staircases in the school’s main hall instead of just one near the school’s entrance and a hidden staircase further down the hallway. Hall said the change would ease some management issues, as well as lower the overall square footage. 

The school will be built to alleviate overcrowding at Mt. Juliet and West Wilson middle schools, which have more than 1,600 and 1,300 students, respectively.

The potential new Mt. Juliet high school on North Green Hill Road would alleviate overcrowding at Mt. Juliet High School and other county high schools.

The Wilson County Commission will meet with the Wilson County Board of Education next week to hold an education workshop about the district’s building and renovation plans.

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. 

The potential for a delay in construction of the high school caused school board members to discuss rezoning last year.

“I think it’s important to say that there will be rezoning all over the county. We’re not just talking about Lebanon and Watertown. They’re going to occur everywhere,” board chairman Larry Tomlinson said last year of the potential rezoning.

Hall said if the district was forced to consider rezoning, the moves would not eliminate the district’s overcrowding issues.

“I can’t push them out of this one school and make this one overloaded and all of that. You take the pieces of the puzzle and redistribute them and make the puzzle look how it’s supposed to look,” he said. “With rezoning, you’re still going to have three high schools with 2,000 kids. We’re not creating capacity. We’re moving kids. We’re not building schools. You’re basically letting Mt. Juliet get 200-300 kids out of it, but you’re redistributing the other schools. They’re losing kids, but they’re also filling back up.”

 

 

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