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Putnam BOE Approves Bid For Park View K-4

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam BOE Approves Bid For Park View K-4

The Putnam County School Board voted 5-1 Wednesday night to accept a bid to construct Park View School without the 5-8 wing.

The cut was made in order to fit within the $44.6 million bond funding the project. School Board Chair Lynn McHenry said the K-4 school will cost $45.5 million.

“It is still something that can be done,” McHenry said. “It’s doable with the moving of the VITAL money and with some good planning over the next two years. It’s possible for this to occur, but it is still a stretch.”

School Board Member Kim Cravens was the sole no vote. She said she had concerns about the future costs of building the remainder of the school and the wants of the community.

“We were given money to build a K-8, so it’s hard to say that I am going to do a K-4 when one, we were given money to build a K-8, and then two, we know that K-8 is what the community wants and the cost to go back and add that second building later is going to be exponentially higher,” Cravens said.

There was discussion of tabling the project temporarily. Director of Schools Corby King said he had concern about pushing the project down the road. King said student growth could put the school system in a capacity issue.

“This next month is going to be really important for us to see if we are still at that 1-2 percent, or if we are going to be in the 4-5 percent,” King said. “With all the new home growth in the community, there has to be families moving in. I think we are going to see that growth. (…) We could be looking at 5-10 years of having a new high school if we have that kind of growth. So if we push the breaks here, we could be having to do the replacement, plus a high school and new elementary school.”

School Board Member David McCormick said he was for building now. McCormick said the school board could possibly ask the county commission for more funding to build the other wing in the future.

“My personal opinion I feel like the foundation of the K-4 would be a good building block and good start,” McCormick said. “It’s not what any of us want, but I feel personally it gives us 100 more capacity and we can go back and ask for money to build on it later.”

School Board members all agreed that a joint session with the county commission is needed soon to discuss the issue.

Chief Financial Officer Mark Reynolds said the school system would need to find up to $5 million to fully cover the K-4 project. That price includes technology, furniture and building fees.

King said pausing the new virtual school project would save about $3 million. King said an office space in Cookeville has been found that could house operations of the new building.

King said potentially more money from the state’s new school funding formula and dipping into the fund balance could cover the rest. The fund balance sits at $11 million. King said upgrading the old Parkview School could also help with capacity.


The post Putnam BOE Approves Bid For Park View K-4 appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.