Plans to build new Sullivan County middle, high schools on schedule

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Two new schools are coming to Sullivan County, and the school board chairman says plans to build them are on schedule.

It’s all part of a multi-million dollar school facilities plan. Sullivan County leaders will consolidate schools and build a new middle and high school there.

School board chairman Michael Hughes said the board is ready to break ground on the facilities within the next few months, meaning we could see a new middle school in two years and a high school in three.

On Weaver Pike sits what looks like nothing more than a big grassy field, but soon the property will house a brand new middle school.

“There will be no middle school in this country that’s going to be nicer than what we are going to have there,” Hughes said.

The middle school now has a name chosen by the community and a mascot.

“It’s going to be called Sullivan East Middle School. There were 4,082 votes,” said Hughes. Hughes says they’re hoping to break ground on the middle school site this November.

As for the high school site on Lynn Road, he said, “We’re going to try to have bids go out for that in December and ground breaking probably first of January.”

While some details of the high school are yet to be determined, like its name, Hughes says other plans are already in place.

“Our high school students indicated that they wanted this high school to be a gateway to the adult world is the way they put it,” he said. “It’s going to be focused on CTE,  and we’re going to graduate kids that are certified and job ready.”

The schools are coming as part of a bigger picture. Back in December, Sullivan County commissioners voted to pass a multi-million dollar school facilities plan, including consolidating schools and renovating facilities.

“Which will close Holston Valley, Bluff City, and the middle school portion of Mary Hughes,” said Hughes. “For the high school part, we’re going to close Central and South and North.”

With plans on schedule, Hughes says he’s confident we’ll see two new schools in the county soon.

“The first time I talked to you, I said it was going to happen, and when I said that in the beginning I believed it, but now I know it,” he said.

Right now, the plans are to have about 750 students at the new middle school when its built and between 1,700 and 1,800 at the new high school.

The school board hopes to open the middle school in the fall of 2019, and the high school in 2020.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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