The plan for Surgoinsville Elementary's proposed $2.5 million, six classroom addition project also includes new parking, a gym expansion, and a cafeteria expansion. (photo by Jeff Bobo)
(Scroll down to see a video of Steve Starnes' presentation to the BOE 9-3-15.)
CHURCH HILL — The preliminary plan for the $2.5 million, six classroom addition project proposed for Surgoinsville Elementary School was revealed Thursday to the Hawkins County Board of Education.
What has yet to be revealed is how the county will pay to expand a school that is currently utilizing closets, hallways and any other available area for instructional space.
In July the BOE rejected a redistricting proposal that would have sent 45 SES students to Carters Valley, and another six to Church Hill Elementary.
That decision came in the wake of emotional opposition from parents of affected children during a public forum.
SES was projected to start this school year with 445 students.
Starnes recently toured the school with principal Susan Trent, maintenance supervisor Shannon Glass, and board architect Don Solt to determine the school’s long term needs.
Based on information garnered during that meeting Solt prepared the preliminary drawing and cost estimate presented to the BOE Thursday.
The classroom addition project presented to the BOE by director of school Steve Starnes Thursday would increase a student capacity at SES by 120.
Six new classrooms would be added to the east end of the building.
The project would also increase cafeteria size capacity by about 45 students, double the size of the gym bleacher area for additional special event seating, and add 45 new parking spots in front of the school.
Another aspect of the project is the installation of a security entrance at the front of the school.
Starnes suggested one option to pay for the project would be to issue a bond.
He noted, however, that Rogersville City and Kingsport City schools would have to receive a portion of that bond issue based on their percentage of students in Hawkins County.
Board chairman Chris Christian commended Starnes on the presentation, noting that it deals with “the big picture” with regards to the future of the school.
“When can we start,” Christian asked.
“Just as soon as you’re ready to write a check,” Starnes replied.
Starnes noted that a $3 million bond would likely have to be issued to cover the project and pay the share due to the city schools.
Starnes suggested that a joint meeting be scheduled to discuss the project between the BOE and the county commission’s Education Committee and Budget Committee.