Metro school board to hear arguments over school proposal - News, Weather & Sports

Metro school board to hear arguments over school proposal


The Metro School Board is set to meet Tuesday night, and members will get an earful about plans for a new school.

Administrators want to buy some land off Smith Springs Road near Percy Priest Lake to alleviate nearby overcrowded schools, but some residents in the area are worried about increased traffic a new school would attract.

However, others see the proposal as a good thing for the community.

"I think it's just pure selfishness, saying, 'I don't want to be bothered.' And I can tell you that I lived next to an elementary school for 20 years in another city, and when I sold the house the value had doubled because of that school," said Antioch resident Alma Sanford.

Sanford said she is one of five people collecting signatures to support the new construction.

Metro Councilman Robert Duvall is among the leaders opposed to the development. He said his constituents' concerns include worsening traffic and risking children's safety.

"They're going to have to walk down a winding, narrow, two-lane road in areas where there is very little to no shoulder at all," Duvall said.

Metro school leaders point out many parents are in favor of the site and added that experts have done several studies to find the best location.

"We look at the accessibility. We look at the road quality, the traffic patterns. We have engaged civil engineers to do traffic studies," said Olivia Brown, spokeswoman for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

The final say on purchasing the land for a new building lies with the Metro Council, and the council is expected to take its first vote on buying the property at its next meeting.

District leaders say even if approval happens soon, it would take until the fall of 2015 to open the doors of the new school.

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