Letter to the Editor: New Watertown school built with future in mind

To the Editor:
Jul 22, 2014

To the Editor:

Visiting the now unveiled Watertown High School, one is presented with the indisputable reality that the campus is no doubt one of the most picturesque, postcard-like schools in the state, even nation. Watertown now is also obviously among the finest high school facilities in the state, per capita, perhaps few peers. 

 The single-most awesome sight is the baseball field facility. Segueing from that, the grass on all the sports fields is akin to viewing the greens on a top-notch golf course. I suppose there is water in this town after all. The surely-not-in-Watertown football complex, is trumped by a track that distracts one from looking at the football facilities, because who ever imagined seeing that round jewel in Watertown?  

Inside the school, floors and walls knock your eyeballs out on their coiled springs. The hardwood gym floors must glow in the dark.  

Outside the main gym, on the wall in the main large entrance hall, there is a giant purple tiger on the wall depicted coming through the wall. In the center point of the school, and where staircases lead to the second floor, etched into the ground floor is another very large purple tiger head. Someone’s brainstorm and work product lives for the ages.  

Just beyond the name-engraved bricks that are part of the wall in the school center point, kudos to the folks who filled the four quadrant glass-encased displays on two floors with purple tiger memorabilia. Albeit there are other noteworthy components of the facility.  

All Wilson Countians now have one more first-class school facility to be proud of, and owe a debt of gratitude to those wizards flying under the radar involved in the planning process. Those who labored constructing the facilities, and also the teachers and administrators who “tricked it out,” must be very proud of the final outcome.

However, it appears that the outcome is not final. Obviously, TDOT will be requested to plan and fund widening a stretch (at least) of state/ federal highway Sparta Pike to mitigate traffic congestion.

Nor should the outcome at the new Lebanon High School be final, and meaning beyond “city” officials planning for a future road into and out of Lebanon High School. Like Lebanon, Watertown High School is now an iconic marketing cornerstone for the city, in essence framed like a painting as one drives by. However, unlike Watertown, the county does not own the acreage in front of Lebanon, and that acreage thereby is on course to eventually become commercial development but mostly apartment complexes, thereby defacing and disgracing the currently also picturesque community marketing cornerstone of Lebanon High School.

There has been zero “county” officials’ leadership in seeking to alter this baked-in Lebanon High School planning dysfunctional outcome, which is, in part, a reason for the exit of former Director of Schools Mike Davis. Also sub-optimal and Lebanon community-wide incompetence is that this issue is not always a significant issue in county office elections. As stated, this is another indisputable reality. 

How often do Lebanon voters ask county commissioners and Wilson County Board of Education candidates what leadership they intend to offer to stop the view of Lebanon High School from being blocked by high-probability future multiple two- and three-story apartment complexes, and the ensuing traffic further optimizing the traffic congestion on Blue Devil Drive and South Hartmann Drive? 

The Watertown High School package is nearer complete than that of Lebanon, for the many who would prefer an optimal outcome for it. 

Derek Dodson

Lebanon

Log in or sign up to post comments.