Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Knoxville School District has continued to move forward with the new middle school project.
As background, voters approved the issuance of approximately $26 million in bonds in March to cover the costs of a new middle school building and a couple smaller projects. The age and state of the current KMS building led the school board to plan the construction of a new structure.
Superintendent Cassi Pearson reports that discussions have begun regarding the space allocation of rooms in the new building. It is part of the process to create a new, final design process. Input received is being passed on to the district’s design team for the project.
Currently, the plan is to build the new middle school adjacent to West Elementary and the high school. Pearson wants the new middle school to have its own unique façade. Considerations are also being made for traffic flow among the three buildings to ensure safety, as well as convenient access.
Business Manager Craig Mobley has been working on the project from two fronts; the building’s plan as well as the financial aspect. He is working with counsel and the district’s bond manager, Piper Sandler, on the bond sale. He hopes to hold the sale in June or July.
Pearson added that if the district had waited longer to build a new middle school, the costs would have increased. The project has been well-researched to provide the best facility for the long term and doing the most possible with the money available.
The Tribune will keep you updated on the progress of the middle school project as it continues to develop.