Carter Parents Excited 70-Year-Old School Will Be Replaced

Knoxville (WVLT) - The partnership for education facilities assessment finds the need for two new schools, closing two existing schools, and spending money to improve eight others.

One community getting a new school is Carter, where parents Tuesday were reacting to news; a 70-year-old building may be on the road to being replaced.

Knox County officials hoped to find an objective look at all their school needs.

"The whole point of the Partnership for Educational Facilities Assessment is to make sure we're building the right schools in the right places for the right reason," Dwight Van de Vate, the Knox County Mayor's Senior Communications Director says.

The assessment found capital needs for ten schools. Recommendations include closing South Knoxville and Gap Creek Elementary, transferring those students to New Hopewell Elementary, two new schools to be built including Southwest Elementary and Hardin Valley Middle.

The report also recommends improvements to Bearden, Dogwood, Bluegrass, Brickey, New Hopewell, and Copper Ridge Elementary schools as well as Central High.

But on the top of the list, 70-year-old Carter Elementary.

"We don't have hot water in the school at all. There are mold issues in the school," Carter parent Dusti Brooks.

"Parking's terrible. You know, as you can see it's a challenge just to get in and out," says Carter parent Danny Wolfenbarger.

The recommendation for Carter's is replacement.

"Whenever it happens, it's not going to be too soon," says Brooks.

"You don't send your kids to school with shoes with holes in them. You want them to wear new shoes," says Wolfenbarger.

For some parents, being first in this line is something long overdue.

"They should have a new updated school as well. All kids ought to be treated equally," says Wolfenbarger.

But there's still one unanswered question.

"Where the money is going to come from is a big question and it's our hope that with this as a blueprint we can move forward within the limits of the existing capital plan," says Van de Vate.

Officials with the Mayor Mike Ragsdale's office say they expect the school system to determine its capital budget and present it to the mayor in mid-February.

From there, the mayor is expected to present the package as part of the budget to the full county commission in either April or May.