Editor’s Note: The following is an installment in a four-part series looking at three potential plans for Lebanon Middle School and the effects each has on student learning.
Architect Jason Moore described Saturday 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.
Wilson County Board of Education members met in a work session Saturday to allow concerned parents and community members to tour one of the proposed sites to house Lebanon Middle School.
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.
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.
The plans include using the old Lebanon High School building to house a new Lebanon Middle School; making additions to Carroll Oakland, Southside and Tuckers Crossroads elementary schools; and building a new Lebanon Middle School building near the new Lebanon High School campus. Included within the course of action the board ultimately takes would be whether it keeps the three schools in question kindergarten through eighth-grade in format or moves to a middle school concept, such as what’s in place at Mt. Juliet and Wilson Central schools.
This plan to add on to the three elementary schools 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.
The additions would eliminate the use of 32 portable classrooms currently at each of the elementary schools while keeping the K-8 concept in tact.
Director of Schools Mike Davis said Carroll Oakland was renovated in 1978, 1987 and 1994. He said Southside received renovations in 1967, 1972, 1985, 1990 and 1994. Tuckers Crossroads was renovated in 1954, 1987, 1994 and 1997.
Board chairman Don Weathers said Wilson County schools as a whole has about a 400-student increase in enrollment each year.
“We want to do what’s best for our children,” Weathers said.
Davis said indicated a move to a middle school concept would be best, as the state now certifies teachers to teach either kindergarten through third-grades, fourth- through eighth-grades or ninth- through 12th-grades.
Davis also said the board’s review of the move isn’t a new one, having started in 2002 when talks started of building a new Mt. Juliet High School.
He said a 2007 review looked at creating an East Wilson Middle School, and the idea was revisited again in 2009 and 2011 when the new Lebanon High School was approved and built off of South Hartmann Drive.
Ultimately, Davis and the board concluded Saturday’s 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 closer look at the old Lebanon High School from Saturday’s tour, go to spotted.lebanondemocrat.com.
Director of content Jared Felkins may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 13 or firstname.lastname@example.org.