Skip to Content

School Board Priorities Include Additions To Cane Creek And Northeast

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
School Board Priorities Include Additions To Cane Creek And Northeast

The Putnam County School Board will bring a list of priorities to county commissioners that includes additions to both Cane Creek Elementary and Northeast Elementary.

The two boards hold their annual pre-budget meeting Monday night.

The system wants to add three to four classrooms to both schools in an effort to deal with a growing elementary school population. Director of Schools Corby King said he believes the expansion makes more fiscal sense currently than building another new elementary school.

“I think from a taxpayer standpoint, this is more cost effective,” King said. “But now, if I’m a parent this time, I think the parents would like to have the pre-K like we have it now, and would probably like to see the new elementary school. And I haven’t polled, I haven’t asked, but just my gut tells me. But from the cost standpoint, this is more cost efficient.”

King said Northeast and Cane Creek are the only two schools with physical room available for expansion. The system would then rezone to better use the new capacity as well as the increased space created at the new Park View Elementary. The expansions would increase capacity by between 60 and 80 students. King said each expansion’s cost projected at $3 to $4 million.

A study commissioned by the Putnam County School board projected elementary school populations would increase by five percent in the next five years, more than 6.6 percent in the following five-year period. Elementary school capacity is already at a premium. King said virtually every school in the system has just one available classroom that could be used for instruction.

“As far as adding these classrooms, I think that’s the smart thing money wise, all of them, especially when we have room to do it,” School Board Member David McCormick said.

At a Thursday night work session, the board said the third component of increasing elementary capacity would be the creation of a Pre-K Center for Cookeville students at the current Park View School. Baxter and Monterey Pre-K would remain at the current sites. The school system would need to spend $8 to 10 million to renovate the current Park View school.

The move would create roughly two additional classrooms at each of the Cookeville schools.

King suggested sitting down with County Mayor Randy Porter to consider a $20 million bond in the next year that would include the Park View renovations, the expansion of Cane Creek and Northeast as well as the construction of a new centralized VITAL Facility.

School Board Member Jill Ramsey said she would like to see renovations to Sycamore Elementary and Baxter Primary added to the bond issue.

“You walk through Sycamore and it is sad,” Ramsey said. “You walk through Baxter Primary. When you renovate these schools, you’re making it equal across the district. You’re making all the schools better for those kids rather than one big new school for those kids,” Ramsey said.

Adding those two projects would bring the bond total to $31 million. King said that is still less than building a new elementary school.

The plan would push back the construction of the middle school wing at Park View to the end of the decade. Commissioners refused to fund the construction project last year leaving half of the project undone for now.


The post School Board Priorities Include Additions To Cane Creek And Northeast appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.