The former Lebanon High School shined like a new penny Saturday as Wilson County Board of Education members met in a work session to allow concerned parents and community members to tour one of the proposed sites to house a proposed new Lebanon Middle School.
But the nearly 200 people who turned out for the meeting – many concerned about the future of middle school students currently at overcrowded Carroll Oakland, Southside and Tuckers Crossroads elementary schools – remained reluctant to concede the old Lebanon High School building was the right place to house the current 637 middle schoolers and 30 teachers.
Architect Jason Moore offered three proposals for the future of middle school students who reside or will live in areas surrounding the Lebanon city limits. Among the proposals were alternate plans within each.
In the first plan, which would be to use the old Lebanon High School, plans were offered to lock down parts of the building built more than a half century ago. Another option within that plan would be to tear down the oldest classrooms and still another plan included adding a new media center.
In all scenarios associated with using the former high school, sprinkler systems, handrails at ramps and some stairs would need to be added. A $600,000 renovation of the school’s cafeteria would also have to take place.
Moore said mold found would also have to be removed.
Depending on the plan the board selected, construction and renovation costs of using the old Lebanon High School would range between $1.7 million and $7 million, and those figures don’t include technology needs, desks or other items needed for student use.
Moore also described a plan that would include additions at Carroll Oakland, Southside and Tuckers Crossroads elementary schools to eliminate the use of portable classrooms, but would keep the schools traditionally kindergarten through eighth-grade facilities.
This plan would add an additional 20,000 square feet each at Southside and Carroll Oakland for $3.4 million each, and a two-story addition at Tucker’s Crossroads for $2.3 million. The total construction cost would be about $9 million, but again wouldn’t include material student needs.
Still a third option would include building a new Lebanon Middle School using 21 acres near the new Lebanon High School off South Hartmann Drive. His plan would have a price tag of about $23 million in construction costs alone.
During the nearly 2 ½-hour long meeting, the board, along with Director of Schools Mike Davis fielded a flurry of concerns from parents, students, teachers and community members from all directions.
Ultimately, Davis and the board concluded the meeting pledging to have a question-and-answer session at the school prior to January when the board is expected to make a decision on the future of Lebanon Middle School.
To get a full report on the meeting, pick up a copy of Tuesday’s edition of The Lebanon Democrat. To get a closer look at the old Lebanon High School from Saturday’s tour, go to spotted.lebanondemocrat.com now.