(03/16/2021)
For a third time, members of the state School Building Authority are being asked to allocate funding for a new Spencer Middle School in Roane County.

On Monday, Superintendent Richard Duncan was in front of the SBA making the county’s pitch for more than $15 million to build the new middle school next to Roane County High School.

This year, the SBA has $51.4 million in Needs Grant funding to allocate to projects statewide.

The Roane County project has been revised after previous restrictions.

Under the latest plan, “We won’t be building an entirely new stand-alone facility. We’ll be building an adjacent facility that makes use of that shared space (with Roane County High),” Dr. Duncan said.

Roane County High School was built in 1993 under SBA authority.

Under the new plan, central office operations would be eventually be consolidated into what is now Spencer Middle, the former Spencer High School.

A 2018 bond is currently funding a number other school projects in Roane County, including upgrades to Roane County High School which could be used at a new Spencer Middle as well.

“We may not have a (local) match sitting on the paper right now, just the way the legalities go with that money, but our plan certainly is to continue to locally fund every project we can, but the one we can’t get to, we just cannot do a new middle school on our own,” Duncan said.

“(The amount) $15 million is more than the bond, $15 million is more than my general budget in a year.”

On Monday, 14 superintendents were presenting projects.

Sixteen additional superintendents were scheduled to make their presentations on Tuesday.

Altogether, the proposed projects total $248 million.


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