New makeover and additions planned for Carter County School

Published 4:12 pm Friday, December 9, 2022

By Danielle Morin
Elizabethton Star
Hunter Elementary School will be receiving a full makeover soon. Carter County Schools Superintendent Dr. Brandon Carpenter told School Board officials on Thursday, Dec. 8, that he has plans to improve upon the school’s campus.
“It will look new, it will be paved. You’re talking new gyms, new athletic facilities. Basically the school is going to have more than anybody in Carter County as far as facilities,” said Carpenter, explaining that the remodeling plans include new middle school and special education wings, a new gym that can comfortably seat 800 students with boys and girls locker rooms for both visiting and home teams, a new football locker room, as well as two spare classrooms for future growth and an update to the building’s façade. “We want this to look like something we’re proud of,” he said. “This is going to be the nicest building we have.”
Carpenter also added that the renovations will, “have room for a softball field and some sort of a football field to where at least they can have youth football up there, a good place to practice and play their youth games.” Carpenter went on to explain the importance of adding such facilities to the school’s campus, saying, “I just think it will be great for the community as far as helping build that program. They had a great year this year; Coach O’Brien is doing a super job with their high school team, and I think that would just give them something good up there that’s needed.”
Carpenter explained that a major motivation for the changes involved the number of classroom trailers on Hunter’s campus due to limited space within the school itself. “I think we need to get our students in the building,” he said, “and we’re doing that, and this is going to be a huge step in making sure that happens.”
In addition to moving students inside the school building, Carpenter also pointed out that the change will provide an additional parking lot for the school in place of where the trailers currently sit.
Carpenter said the 16.2 million-dollar project, which is estimated to take 18-24 months to complete, cannot get started until the campus’s septic system is moved and replaced. “The key to getting this project done as we move forward will be the septic system,” he said, explaining, “something that has to be done at Hunter Elementary is the sewer has to be fixed, period. Right now, it’s under the front parking lot, which is gravel. It needs to be paved, and the only way to pave that, ever, is to move the septic system.”
Maintenance Supervisor Steve Walsh went on to warn board members, “There’s starting to be trouble,” with the school’s current septic system, adding, “The sooner, the better.”
No exact date has been announced for the start of what school officials are calling The Hunter Project. Dr. Carpenter said he hopes to keep construction within Carter County to support local business. “I would love to see somebody from our area get this bid and build our school,” he said. “I just think it would be good for our area, and it would reinforce what we’re all about — and that’s Carter County.”

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