Metro Schools Touting Case For Funding Renovations, New Buildings

Antioch Middle School Principal Canidra Henderson stands next to what will be the new front office of the building, which was built in 1948.  The average Metro school building is 42 years old, and the district spends close $20 million a year on maintenance. Credit Daniel Potter / WPLN

Antioch Middle School Principal Canidra Henderson stands next to what will be the new front office of the building, which was built in 1948. The average Metro school building is 42 years old, and the district spends close $20 million a year on maintenance. Credit Daniel Potter / WPLN

Nashville’s school district is hoping to get some $90 million Tuesday night from the Metro Council to build and renovate school buildings this year.  Part of the concern is that parents who see older schools as dilapidated don’t want to send their kids there.

One example is Antioch Middle School, which currently has 20 portable classrooms outside and expects to add more than 200 students in the next few years.  Meanwhile some rooms inside the building weren’t being used because of problems with mold; Principal Canidra Henderson says it was driving parents to transfer kids out.

“It’s nothing like being able to walk down the hallway, and see visible mold, where you can’t—It’s been treated and the district has done all that it could do in terms of trying to get it under control.  So just restoring that confidence in the community, in the parents, will help a great deal.”

The sixty-year-old school is in the midst of an $11 million renovation – just one item on a long list of planned projects around the district.  While MNPS officials are hopeful this year’s budget will add around $90 million for more buildings and renovations, it’s well below their initial ask of close to $160 million.

 

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