The Wilson County Education and Budget committees voted in favor of Wilson County Schools reallocating $1.3 million from Gladeville Middle School to West Wilson Middle School.
The $1.3 million excess is from a project to add concession stands, restrooms and locker rooms near the sports fields at Gladeville. Now that those facilities are nearly finished, West Wilson is the only middle school in Wilson County without comparable facilities.
"We have funds left over so now that we're close to done with Gladeville we're asking to reallocate these funds," said Mickey Hall, the deputy director of schools for Wilson County Schools.
Many in the district and on the education committee feel that it is unfair to student-athletes at West Wilson to not have these facilities.
"What we're trying to do is bring this facility up to equal, or at least close to equal, to the other schools," said Wendell Marlowe, District 22 county commissioner.
Wilson County Schools
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Director Donna Wright added that these facilities can help West Wilson make money for athletics and organizations at the school.
"The concession stands at other middle schools allow clubs to come in and raise funds during games," Wright said. "West Wilson is at a disadvantage right now because they can't do this."
Another concern is that student-athletes at West Wilson don't currently have anywhere to use the restroom or change clothing during practices and games.
"They have to go all the way back into the school building or hide behind a bush to change clothes right now," Marlowe said. "At the other middle schools, they have these facilities located near their field."
John Gentry, District 11 commissioner, said there were better uses of the money.
"I'm not against spending money on education, I just don't think this is the wisest use of the money," Gentry said. "We have roofing projects and other things related to education that the money could be better spent on."
The education committee voted in favor of the reallocation of funds in a 6-1 vote, with Gentry voting against it.
Later that evening, the county budget committee voted in favor of it, unanimously.
In other action:
The education and budget committees voted to approve Watertown High School to lease a John Green Reel Mower for approximately $500 per month. This money will come out of Watertown's athletic proceeds.The budget committee reappointed Wendell Marlowe the chairman of the committee.