MT. JULIET – Top-level Wilson County schools officials said all schools under construction in west Wilson County will open on the first day of school Aug. 1.
Schools Deputy Director Mickey Hall said he wants to squelch any rumors West Wilson Middle, West Elementary and Rutland Elementary schools might not open on time due to evidence final construction cleanup is ongoing.
"We want all parents and students to know we are absolutely opening all schools Aug. 1 as is on the calendar," he said. "We want to make sure things are calm for students, teachers and students. We will do our job and make sure the students are educated in a clean and safe environment."
Hall said he wanted to reassure parents schools under construction will open on time and urged them to watch the respective schools' websites for a traffic plan posted before school starts and for other general information.
The new Rutland pre-kindergarten through second-grade campus under construction was never scheduled to open Aug.1, rather Oct. 19 after fall break. All students there will start Aug. 1 in the existing facility.
"Despite what it looks like in the front, our school is going to open on time for sure," said West Elementary School principal Becky Siever.
She said the new addition will double the school's capacity.
"We are just so excited and want to reassure everyone school will open on time, and we will make sure it's safe," said Siever.
Because of increased student population, the system's building program targeted expansions at all three schools. Additions to both West Elementary and West Wilson Middle and building separate school campus at Rutland all began in September.
Part of the building program also includes the construction of a new Watertown High School, but that is not scheduled to open until the 2014 academic year, said Hall.
In the Mt. Juliet area, West Wilson Middle's new addition is "basically done," said Hall.
"We've cleaned up the new classrooms and waxed the floors," said Hall. "We are moving in furniture this week.
There is additional site work to be completed, and parents will notice that happening now, Hall said.
"But even all that will be done at this school before school starts," said Hall
The new addition is 40,000 square feet and has 22 new classrooms. There are also interior renovations. A theatre room was added, plus a new secure entrance. The existing restrooms were updated, as well.
"Everything at West Wilson Middle is right on schedule," said Hall.
According to Hall, the West Elementary addition is 95 percent compete.
"We will open this school as well on Aug. 1," said Hall.
The addition there is 45,000 square feet and will contain new cafeteria, gym and administrative offices. There will also be new restrooms.
The existing cafeteria was turned into more administrative offices, and the former offices are now a clinic and guidance office. The entire front of the building is changed with a loop drive added to relieve traffic in front of the school.
"We will open West Elementary on Aug. 1, but we would like parents to know there will be site work still to complete after school starts," said Hall.
Site work will include seeding.
"It will be a completely safe environment for the students," said Hall. "We just ask parents and students to have patience with us while we wrap up."
He said everything should be completed by the end of August.
Hall reiterated the importance for parents to regularly check the schools' websites for the layout and traffic patterns so they will be familiar with where to go Aug. 1.
At Rutland Elementary, students will begin the school year Aug.1, all in the existing building. Pre-kindergarten through second-grade students will occupy the new campus building when they return from fall break, which begins Oct. 8 and ends Oct. 18. The new addition is 75,000 square feet and will house up to 800 students.
This break will give school officials time to furnish the new facility and move teacher items over to their new classrooms.
West Elementary's website is wcschools.com/wes. West Wilson Middle School's website is wcschools.com/wwm.