Breaking It Down: Knox County School Re-Zoning

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Knoxville (WVLT) – The new Hardin Valley High School re-zoning proposal is creating some confusion for some Knox County students.

As we first reported Tuesday, the proposal brought up at Monday night's board meeting, has left many families more than a little perplexed about where their children will be going to school in 2008.

We asked our Kim Bedford to dig into the new zoning proposal and see if school board folks could clear up the confusion.

No doubt, the new re-zoning can be easily misunderstood.

Here's the map that school Superintendent Charles Lindsey came up with showing the boundaries for the new Hardin Valley High School.

Many of you weren't sure exactly where on boundary began and another ended.

"The white's Farragut and this is the Karns area," explains school board member Thomas Deakins.

Here's what areas would be re-zoned to the new Hardin Valley High School under Dr. Charles Lindsey's proposal. The western half of the Karns district, west of Pellissippi and portions of the north and east side of Farragut's district would have students re-routed to the new school.

Students in the current Bearden zone would "not" be re-zoned to Hardin Valley.

Sixth District School Board Member Thomas Deakins represents Farragut and Hardin Valley. He says two key factors played a role in deciding why some students should be moved and others left alone.

"Not just distance, but time," Deakins says.

Deakins says his biggest concern with the re-zoning proposal is the travel time for both personal cars and school buses from Farragut to the Pellissippi Parkway in order to reach to the Hardin Valley exit.

"That exit, with the amount of cars we have traveling down through there, is going to back up and we're going to have some serious traffic issues," Deakins says.

"The problem is, tell me how to get my kids there safely," Parents like Stephanie Parrot say they're worried about the travel time. "There's no easy access to where I live on Pellissippi Parkway, so my kids are going to be bused somehow to Hardin Valley, which is a significant distance."

"I know it's hard...just be patient," Deakins says.

Deakins says this is most-likely one of many more proposals to come, but much of the re-zoning decision making is based on the Metropolitan Planning Commission stats regarding school overcrowding.
"If we did not have a Hardin Valley high school, around 2015, Farragut would be up to 4,000 kids," Deakins says. And that's the main reason Deakins says some students have to be moved. "You don't know what to expect and that's why we're doing this ahead of time, 18 months out."

A reminder, the board is holding two public forums before they vote on the re-zoning plan.

The first is December fourth at Fulton High School, the next at the City-County Building December sixth at five o'clock.

That is also the meeting where board members will vote.

So still some time to voice your opinion on this in December.

View a FULL SCREEN MAP of the Proposed School Zoning.