Elizabethton School Board presented with multimillion dollar renovation plan

Published 1:20 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

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The Elizabethton City School Board is reviewing a $43 million, 21-project master plan for renovations and improvements to school facilities.
The plan was presented to the school board on Wednesday by Katie Hill of Thomas Weems Architect.
Elizabethton Director of Schools Richard VanHuss reminded the rest of the school board that the estimated costs for these projects were just that, and said that this plan spans “15 to 20 years.”
“The $43 million comes from the cost if we completed every single project in this booklet. We don’t expect to receive a check for $40 million at one time, but this plan provides us with a list of projects we can begin as money becomes available,” VanHuss said.
The 21 projects recommended were spread among the five schools within the system, and as expected Elizabethton High School contained the largest amount of projects with 11.
These projects include a gated outdoor classroom/gathering space located just inside the football stadium known as “Betsy Square” for a cost of $640,000; a student plaza located at the existing student entrance, estimated to cost $600,000; and a “Cyclone Wellness Center” that could be added on to the existing gymnasium that would provide students and student athletes with multi-use turf fields and fitness equipment, estimated to cost $5.9 million.
Board member Eddie Pless questioned the idea of another basketball gym. “It would not necessarily have to be a competition gym, just a space to provide both of our teams with inside the high school.”
At T.A. Dugger Junior High School, projects would include an addition to the back of the school that would provide 12 additional classrooms at a cost of $11 million.
Plans also call for adding secure vestibules at all campuses, for a total cost of $360,000.
“I’m sure that we all have a different list of priorities on this list, but this project is one that ensures the safety of our kids so this is one that we need to get done as soon as possible,” Board member Mike Wilson said.
At Harold McCormick, plans call for a $6 million renovation and asbestos removal project. A second phase would include classroom additions at a cost of $8 million.
At West Side Elementary, the proposal calls for adding four classrooms and an enclosed courtyard, at a cost of $2.5 million.
At East Side Elementary, adding 45 additional parking spots is planned at a cost of $225,000.
The board took no action on the plan.

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