To make up for the swelling student population in public schools, district officials want to operate a school in the building once home to Waverly Belmont Junior High School and kick-start construction work to open and expand other schools across the district.
Metro Nashville Public School’s plan before the school board Tuesday calls for spending $8.5 million to renovate, add to and reopen the school to house about 600 students in lower grade levels.
“We are looking at it as a possible elementary school option to address growth we’re seeing in the 12South area,” said Olivia Brown, an MNPS spokeswoman. Closed as a school building in the 1970s, the structure is currently used as a hub for the information technology department, according to Brown.
Total construction and expansions school officials want to embark on next school year are expected to ultimately make room for an additional 3,000 students as part of the district’s $159 million capital improvement plan.
The school board expects to vote Tuesday to send its wish list of 36 total projects to the Metro City Council.
The district’s plans call for tearing down and replacing two district schools: Goodlettsville Middle for $20.1 million and Tusculum Elementary for $16.3 million.
For $16.9 million, MNPS officials would also like to build a new Antioch Cluster Elementary School to take on some 800 students while they pursue $17 million worth of renovations at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School.
The four projects plus reopening Waverly Belmont alone account for nearly half of the district’s full capital funding request for the 2013-2014 school year.
Other projects on the district’s hopeful construction list include projects like district-wide upgrades to energy systems, handicap accessibility, heating and air conditioning systems, and technology.
If approved by the school board, the proposal will advance to the city council, which is charged with doling out tax dollars. The list is generally considered a starting point for the city council to revise during city budget negotiations. Mayor Karl Dean began pitching some of his own ideas for capital improvements in the city last week.