Preliminary design for new school OK'd

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By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Board of Education has approved the preliminary design for the new elementary school in the Oliver Springs area.

The proposed K-4 school will be on Ollis Road.

It is part of the school system’s $32 million TVA-funded building program.

Architect Lanis Cope showed a presentation on the new school design at the board’s Nov. 18 meeting.

He said the building will be all brick with sloped roofs.

In addition to the classroom wings, the school will have a media center, cafeteria and playroom.

“How many students will this facility serve?” board member Wade McCullough asked.

“This facility is designed with a core of 600,” Cope replied.

Buses and cars will drop off students in different spots.

“We have separated out the car traffic drop off from the bus traffic drop off,” Cope said.

Cope said there will also be a separate area where parents of kindergarten students can park and walk their children into the building.

Board member Mike “Brillo” Miller expressed some concerns about the kindergarten-through-fourth-grade configuration planned for the school.   

“I’d always heard the perfect scenario for an elementary school was K-5,” he said.

Director of Schools Toni Mc-Griff said the school should have plenty of room for kindergarten through fourth grade.

She said she wasn’t sure about kindergarten through fifth grade.

“How the grades finally shake out, I think, is something we still have some time to work on,” she said.

Miller said he doesn’t want to see a scenario where the school system has to ask the county commission  for money to add on to the building after it opens.

“There’s two things about a building program,” he said. “We get it the way we need it when we start. The other thing is that we make sure we build our building big enough that if we have growth, that we’re able to accommodate it.”