Dirt is moving, and soon brick and mortar will be visible on nearly $70 million worth of Wilson County new school construction and additions.
The county's explosive student population spurred the quadruple projects, with construction of the new Watertown High School in the east and three school additions in the west.
Wilson County Schools Deputy Director Mickey Hall said progress on the construction of the new Watertown High School is in full swing.
"This project is nearly $37 million," said Hall. "Site work has begun, and they are moving dirt and rock and readying to pour pads."
Construction workers are excavating the field area and blasting to smooth out the site.
"They will begin to pour the pads, and we will see the school go vertical in about another month," said Hall
This school has a capacity for 900 students and will be a self-contained campus.
A much-less-complex construction process, West Wilson Middle School's addition is also in progress. This project will add 26 classrooms and science labs. The project cost is nearly $8 million, according to Hall. Part of the addition will be dedicated to science labs, and there will be renovations to the interior of the existing school. The bathroom will be upgraded and the interior will get a fresh coat of paint.
Hall said the addition will accommodate an additional 500 students, with an overall capacity for 1,500 students. The projected completion date is Aug. 1, 2013.
Rutland Elementary in west Wilson is undergoing an addition as well. On Wednesday, construction workers were doing site work and preparing to pour pads for the new addition that will be operational fall break 2013. Soon footers will be constructed and sewer lines installed. The cost of this project is $13.7 million, according to Hall. A loop road will be built as well to alleviate traffic on Lebanon Road.
This 75,000-square-foot addition will double class size, and the school's pre-kindergarten through second grade students will use the building. It will have its own cafeteria, library, gym and classrooms.
The third school addition in west Wilson is ongoing at West Elementary School. The need for new space here was spurred by nearby subdivisions Spence Creek and Silver Springs. This addition's price tag is $11.3 million, and will add 14 new classrooms. There will be new art and musics rooms.
The addition will also house computer and science labs, a new gym and cafeteria. The old eating area will be transformed into much-needed administration space and a teacher learning lab.
"The addition will accommodate up to 400 more students," said Hall.
Completion date is set for Aug. 1.