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Fentress Schools To Add Vocational School Building At Clarkrange

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fentress Schools To Add Vocational School Building At Clarkrange

Fentress County Schools will add a vocational school addition to its Clarkrange campus.

Director-Elect Kristi Hall said that the $2.7 million investment will help the system improve its CTE offerings.

“We’re outgrowing our space as far as CTE classes and what we can actually put in the physical space that we have,” Hall said. “So we were looking at expanding course offerings as well as existing facilities to place classes that we currently have that we don’t really have the room or they weren’t really built for those purposes.”

Hall said that the standalone building will house five classrooms. She said that they plan to have welding, cosmetology, culinary arts, and nursing.

Outgoing Director Mike Jones said that with the school built in 1962, the current classrooms are obsolete. He said that this is a project he has been trying to achieve for some time.

“That’s about completed my bucket list,” Jones said. “I completed my 42nd year in the school system. 10 years as a teacher, 17 years as a principal, and 15 as superintendent. When I started we were $5.5 million in debt with $2 million in the bank. Now we’ve got new roofs, new HVACs, and new windows and tiles at all the schools. Facility-wise, we’ll be in top-notch shape.”

Jones said that they are now in a place financially where they can invest more into their capital projects to give better opportunities to all students in the community. Jones said that the new building will come at no cost to the taxpayers.

Hall said the system is using multiple sources to fund the project. She said that $1.5 million will come from ESSER,  $350,000 from an ARC grant, and the rest paid from the general-purpose fund.


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