LINCOLN COUNTY, TN (WHNT) — Parents and teachers in Lincoln County on Monday pleaded with the county commission for an upgrade to one of the oldest schools in the district.
Highland Rim School was built sixty-five years ago but it’s never been upgraded. Now the patchwork from over the years is falling apart and could become a danger to staff and students.
This need was the number one topic of conversation among concerned parents and educators at the Lincoln County ‘expansion project’ meeting.
The school is faced with heavy asbestos in the walls and decaying bathroom pipes that are hurting the flow of water.
Emily Vandergriff, a parent and educator in Lincoln County told News 19 that it’s a bad mix for a middle school that classrooms are reportedly way overcrowded.
“Infrastructure can only hold up for so long especially when you have this many people running through a building every day,” she said. It’s just time for improvements and that’s all there is to it.”
The school was built in 1959 and the administration is asking the county commission to hear their pleas for the health and safety of its students and staff. Bill Heath, Lincoln County school’s superintendent, is asking for a new building and an upgrade to the old one.
The funding body in Lincoln County, however, is the commission. Heath says the project plans for a new building have been in the making for years.
“We have a law in Tennessee that if there is another school district within our county, we must share bonds so we would have to share 22 percent with city schools,” Heath said. “We’re looking at $39 to $40 million for the project and then we’ll have to take that share off the top and present it to the commission. and then the rest of it we will use for our facility.”
Heath will present the plans for the upgrades to the county budget committee on Tuesday.
The county commission was in attendance at the expansion project meeting. All who attended are hopeful that their desperate plea was heard.
The Lincoln County Commission did not comment when asked about the project plan.