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Putnam School Board Members Say Commission Missed An Opportunity

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam School Board Members Say Commission Missed An Opportunity

A missed opportunity. That is how two Putnam County School Board members described the county commission’s decision Tuesday night.

A new school bond to build the upper grade wing of the new Park View School failed in a 12 to 12 vote. School Board Chair Kim Cravens said doubling the schools capacity for $16.5 million likely a price that will not be available whenever the project is considered again.

“We wanted to keep the project as one project instead of two separate projects,” Cravens said. “Totally understand that the commission has a different job than we do, so I know that is a hard decision all around. Definitely disappointed, but we’ll move forward.”

School Board Member Jill Ramsey said she was surprised that the school bond did not pass. Ramsey said she feels like school officials laid out the facts to show the school will be needed.

“I really hoped that our commissioners would be more visionary than that and be more proactive rather than having to be reactive later on,” Ramsey said.

Cravens said the 5-8 grade wing of the school is not necessarily a need right now. Cravens said the school board wanted to be proactive anticipating for the future growth. Cravens said she also wanted to avoid students of the K-4 wing learning during construction.

“It’s not necessarily we have to have it today,” Cravens said. “However, the middle schools that we have currently are getting closer in being full and basically the Park View School is going to be a feeder into itself. Most of the students already there will move on to the five through eight there versus Avery Trace, Prescott and Algood all basically have elementary schools that feed into it. So that just allows those schools to have a little bit more capacity and pulls Park View out of that loop.”

Ramsey said she questions if all commissioners heard the wants from their constituents. Ramsey said parents of the school system indicate that they want the middle school.


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