Six Blount County Schools are "Intolerable"

Blount County (WVLT) - A new report shows six Blount County schools are so overcrowded they are classified as "intolerable."

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has more details.

The schools listed are Friendsville Elementary, Heritage and William Blount Middle, Heritage and William Blount High, and Porter Elementary.

School administrators say they hope next year's number of "intolerable" schools" will reduce to three.

"I was amazed when I volunteered just to help, that a lot of them had a lot of them had difficulty reading and writing," said parent Elizabeth Coen.

Coen says she feels having children in intolerable schools like hers in Porter Elementary and Heritage Middle School can affect the children.

"Are we stocked to the gills in some of those schools? Absolutely," said Dr. Brian Bell, Blount County Schools Facilities Supervisor.

Dr. Bell says the schools are intolerable not because class size is too large but the schools have too many students.

To relieve the problems, they've brought in portables and removed some special classes.

"We start having to take computer labs that were designed for pull out computer programs and making them full time classrooms," said Dr. Bell.

One of the schools, Porter Elementary, is on the list after the Blount County School Board took out the square foot factor in determining which schools are intolerable on Thursday.

"The board said it's really a hinderence and it really doesn't have any academic bearing. You run out of classrooms, you run out of classrooms no matter what your square footage is," said Dr. Bell.

But, school officials hope that number will be cut in half next year, taking Friendsville Elementary, William Blount Middle, and Heritage High off the list.

That will happen upon the completion of Union Grove Elementary and Union Grove Middle School which are now under construction.

That leaves three others still on the list and hopes the school board will seek solutions to get those off.

"This is a situation that's not going to get any better. It will continue to be there because of the growth that we are experiencing in Blount County," said Mike Treadway, Blount County School Board.

Treadway says they are looking for property to build another elementary school to relieve porter's.

Dr. Brian bell says they plan to present their report to the county commission later this month to keep them informed of the situation.