(11/17/2009)

Former educator Joe Evans (standing) now with Williamson
Shriver Architectural Services, works with educators
and community members to develop a new 10-year-plan

By Bob Weaver

"I'm excited about this opportunity to come together to plan about Calhoun's school facilities through 2020," said Calhoun school superintendent Roger Propst.

Propst was speaking to a number of educators and community representatives who will be working on a new 10-year Comprehensive Educational Facility Plan (CEFP).

The process began last night at a meeting held at the school board office, with a number of committees formed to work on the plan.

Leading the planning meeting was former Roane County resident Joe Evans, a 32-year veteran educator, now with Williamson Shriver Architectural Services.

Propst discussed what is likely one of the key goals for the facilities plan, the construction of a new Arnoldsburg Elementary School out of the flood plain.

"The replacement could be the centerpiece of the 10-year-plan," Propst said, although a number of other needs to county school buildings were discussed.

Propst said a $3 million bond passed by county taxpayers several years ago for the improved construction of Calhoun Middle-High School's auditorium, will expire in 2012.

He indicated if voters could renew that amount in a new bond effort, it could possibly provide some of the necessary funding for a School Building Authority match to build a new Arnoldsburg school.

A Williamson Shriver representative gave an overview of needs he discovered in the county's three schools.

"We all still call Calhoun Middle-High School the new school, but at the end of the next ten year plan, the building will be 22-years-old," said Propst, indicating the building has and will have replacement needs.

During the creation of several CEFP committees, Propst indicated it is likely a goal of the current school board to remove the 5th grade from Calhoun Middle-High School and return it to the county's two elementary schools.

The comprehensive plan has goals and objectives, an educational plan, an evaluation of the previous 10-year plan, in addition to improvements to the county facilities.

The plan, when completed, will be presented at a public meeting for comment.


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