SSE to middle school? BOE starts talks

Post staff reports

Wilson County Board of Education nodded a plan to begin a conversation with county officials regarding funding for a four-phase effort for school construction, including a possible new middle school in the Lebanon area.
The board approved the plan at its regular meeting Monday night.
In addition, the first of a series of public forums, called “2020s,” is to be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the theatre at Mt. Juliet High School, 1875 Golden Bear Gateway, Mt. Juliet. At that meeting, Lauren Breeze will introduce the school system’s new Engagement Committee, and Dr. Tim Setterlund, county schools director, will discuss recent district changes, the shift away from kindergarten through eighth grade schools to a middle school and the school system’s five-year strategic plan.
Comment cards will be distributed to attendees at the door. Comments/concerns can be shared in writing and there will be time share concerns verbally as well.
As for the school board meeting Monday night, members approved the plan to discuss how best to fund the future needs for the growing school system. The system presently serves approximately 16,000 students.
Phase I of the plan includes taking the old Lebanon High School campus and converting the newest building to Central Office space, and demolishing and/or transferring the remainder to a third party; converting Southside Elementary to a middle school; and purchasing land and constructing a new elementary school in the South central area.
Phase II would involve the purchase of land for the following:

•    West area elementary school – 16 acres
•    Southwest area middle school – 47 acres
•    Central area elementary school – 16 acres
•    Central area middle school – 47 acres
•    Central area high school – 55 acres

Phase III would include construction of the west area elementary school, construction of the southwest area middle school and construction of the central area elementary school.
Phase IV of the plan would include construction of the central area middle school and construction of the central area high school.
Setterlund was to meet with a group of stakeholders, local residents, with an interest in education, Tuesday night at the Central Office, to seek their thoughts as the board develops its five-year strategic plan.