Roane County school board votes to combine three high schools

Roane County school leaders voted to consolidate three high schools tonight.

The Roane County School Board voted Wednesday to consolidate three of the county's five high schools. 

The vote comes nearly one month after the board voted not to combine all five of it's high schools into a single larger school.

On Wednesday night, the board voted 8-1 to consolidate Rockwood High, Harriman High and Roane County High into one high school. This means future students in areas currently zoned for those schools will attend a new high school once it is built.

Nadine Jackson with the Roane County school board said the site of the new school hasn't been decided and the timeline for its completion is in the works. 

Jackson also said the board plans to turn Oliver Springs High School into grades 6-12 school. She said Midway High School will stay the same because it is in a rural area. 

The original proposal for consolidating all five high schools was expected to cost around $50 million for the new school, according to the school board. It is unsure if the newly proposed high school would cost the same.

Jackson said the consolidation of the three schools is being done to save money as well as create a "seamless partnership" with Roane State Community College. Although the site of the new school hasn't been settled on, one of the proposed locations could place it near the college.

"I think the change is always concerning, but I think it's an opportunity for all students in Roane County," Jackson said.

The initial proposal to consolidate all five Roane County High Schools was met with backlash from the community, partially because it would have created long bus rides and commutes for students in rural areas.  

The county hasn't said what it intends to do with three high school buildings after consolidation.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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