Lebanon schools begin new school planning

Xavier Smith • Feb 14, 2018 at 3:21 PM

The Lebanon Special School District Board of Education officially kicked off the planning process for a new school Monday during its monthly board meeting.

The group approved a request for proposals for a construction manager for future new school construction and possible renovations at Byars Dowdy Elementary School.

The district bought 57 acres of land at the corner of Coles Ferry Pike and Hartmann Drive for $1.3 million in 2015 to secure land for a future school.

Lebanon Director of Schools Scott Benson said Monday’s approval didn’t mean the district would start construction of a new facility immediately, but it marks the start of official planning. He said the district would start preliminary work, such as land surveys, traffic studies and more.

Benson said construction could start in about two years but would be determined by the district’s enrollment growth.

“It could be two years, or if enrollment increases at a faster rate, it could be sooner, or later,” Benson said.

Benson said although the school board didn’t present or approve plans for a facility on the property, there were discussions about a possible elementary and middle school complex.

School officials visited Williamson County, which undertook a similar project, according to Benson.

“We just want to be ready and proactive,” Benson said.

Benson said the district would include renovations at Byars Dowdy Elementary School as an alternative to the bid for the new school facility.

He said renovations at the school, which would also likely start at least two years in the future, include a conversion of the current cafeteria into classroom and office space, the current gym to a cafeteria and a new gym.

Other renovations are also slated to start at Walter J. Baird Middle School, Coles Ferry Elementary School and Castle Heights Elementary School for new secure entrances, which would also include general office space, school resource officer office space and conference rooms, according to Benson.


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