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New LHS could be on Peyton Road
Oct 20, 2006 12:00 am
A consulting firm is eyeing Peyton Road as a workable site for a new Lebanon High School.
Representatives from Hewlett-Spencer LLC presented four diagrams which included parts of two farms as well as some land currently part of the Wilson County Fairgrounds.
While Hewlett-Spencer representative Jamie Spencer said he had received "mixed feelings" from county commission and fair board members, he did say that the site seemed workable.
"We got an indication [the county commission] may allow us to take … some seven or eight acres," Spencer said.
Wilson County commissioners opted earlier this year to start the search for a new LHS site. And while school board members could recommend a site as early as its November meeting, the decision lies with the county commission.
Spencer and fellow Hewlett-Spencer representative Steve Hewlett showed several different possible layouts, most of them prominently facing Interstate 40. Included were a soccer field and practice fields for football, baseball and softball.
The proposed three-story building could hold as many as 2,000 students.
The site could also feasibly allow keeping Lebanon High School's Nokes-Lasater Field at its current site – avoiding the expenses of constructing a fully-lighted stadium. Nokes-Lasater Field can currently seat nearly 5,000 fans.
"That field is one of the best in the state," Spencer said.
Lebanon High alumna and school board chair Lisa McMillin said the site means quite a bit to Blue Devil faithful.
"There's a lot of history in that stadium," McMillin said. "I would hate to see us play football anywhere else other than that stadium."
Presenting four configurations, different sites required purchasing several different parcels of property.
Depending on the configuration, estimated land prices were anywhere from $570,000 – with the presumption of 21 acres donated from the fairgrounds – to $1.37 million.
Director of Schools Dr. Jim Duncan was confident commissioners would approve a land purchase at the right price.
"(Squires) did approve the search for … land," Duncan said. "That sets up the scenario that LHS needs to be relocated from the present site."
However, Duncan did say some improvements would be needed on Peyton Road to handle all the additional traffic a high school would bring to the area.
Spencer said they considered sites on Southeast Tater Peeler Road as well as South Hartmann Drive. However he admitted the South Hartmann land was "simply out of our price range," as owners were asking for $75,000 per acre.
Other sites, Spencer said, were eliminated for high land development costs and possible flooding issues.
Yet another site, 47.5 acres on Trousdale Ferry Pike, was cut due to a lack of "positive feedback," Spencer said.
Staff Writer Jason Cox may be reached 444-3952 ext. 45 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.