Unless you are hiding under a rock, you know that Wilson County is growing and growing pains are not subsiding. Although, with the leadership of Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, the Wilson County Commission has done a great job keeping our major services provided to our citizens at an acceptable level. But it seems educational expenditures always becomes the proverbial bump in the road.
Even though land has been purchased, with commission approval, to build a much-needed new high school on the west end of the county, a very small number of relentless and loud elected officials would like to derail the process. Numerous reasons have surfaced to justify their claims, so Hutto spent a great deal of time and effort to gather information to answer most of the questions that have surfaced.
Last Thursday night at both the Education Committee and Budget Committee meetings, Hutto not only presented the information he had gathered, but he also mapped out a timeline to discuss some of the major issues surrounding the progression for planning and building a facility to relieve overcrowding conditions. Not surprisingly, there were a few who were not interested in listening and wanted only to make sarcastic comments or share information and ask questions that had little or nothing to do with the process.
Hutto shared information that related to the site selection, the property appraisal report from Parrish & Associates Inc., information about the blue line stream from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the cemetery issue from Civil Site Design Group, electrical availability from the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp., certified gas services from the Piedmont Natural Gas, providing sanitary sewer service by Mt. Juliet Public Works, water services provided by West Wilson Utility District, the conceptual layout from Civil Site Design, the phase one study done by the Breland Group, the first GEO study from the Hutton Company, the second GEO tech study from American Geotechnical and Environmental and the population map from the Wilson County Board of Education.
Without endorsing going one direction or another, Hutto wants to take the next few months to review with commissioners information that relates to the property, cost comparisons to other high school building projects in Middle Tennessee and alternative methods of funding an educational building project. The goal for now is to keep the building project on schedule. Moving forward by approving the fees for the design stage at the next commission meeting is the first step in doing that.
I appreciate Randall Hutto’s leadership and commitment in addressing these issues in a straightforward and factual manner. When considering the welfare of our Wilson County students, one can only hope and appeal that everyone will consider specifics that are authentic and current to make an informed decision instead of just opinion and hearsay.
District 22 Commissioner
West Wilson Middle School Principal