KNOXVILLE (WATE) – During a special meeting on Monday, Knox County school board members approved a proposal for a new middle school in the Gibbs community.
Board chairman, Mike McMillan, proposed that the district’s capital improvement plan include an amendment to build a new middle school in the Gibbs area. The school would house 800 students, but board members struggled with the idea of it costing possibly $30 million and that it would be paid for by Knox County.
The amendment was approved despite Superintendent Dr. McIntyre’s recommendation. Citing data and analysis, McIntyre said there wasn’t a need for a middle school in that area. He did recommend a new middle school in the Hardin Valley area. McMillan’s proposal would have the two schools built at the same time.
“There’s a lot of community support for it, a lot of community interest in it, but I think they also acknowledged the financial challenges and constraints that the school system is under and so this is a bit of a compromise,” said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County Schools Superintendent.
“We are thrilled and excited and delighted and so very thankful to all the school board members who voted to put a new middle school in the Gibbs community,” said Lisa Starbuck of Gibbs. “We’re hopeful though that county commission will find the money and fund these new schools because I know they’re sorely needed.”
The idea will now move on to the Knox County commission. If both middle schools are approved by commissioners, they’re expected to be finished by 2019.