Washington Co., Tenn. school leaders break ground for new Boones Creek school


Plans for a new school in Washington County, Tennessee have been in the works for years. And on Monday, the community was excited to see it finally get underway.

News 5 was at the groundbreaking ceremony, Monday afternoon. The school is being built on an old farm off Exit 17 from Interstate 26. School and community leaders along with parents and teachers from the Boone's Creek community came out to see plans finally turn into action.

Future students joined Washington County school leaders to break ground for the new Boones Creek school.

"I'm going to say this is going to be the best school in the community," incoming eighth grader Colin Hale said.

The new school will combine them into grades K-8, putting 900 students under one roof. The new state of the art building will replace the aging elementary and middle schools in Boones Creek.

"Two to three years down the road, they're actually going to become a safety risk for students," director of schools Kimber Halliburton said. "You're talking about 70-year-old facilities and it's just time for our boys and girls to have a brand new school."

"Now we're in a school that has open classrooms, it's hard for some students to hear," first grade teacher Brandi Mengee said.

It's a plan that school and county leaders have been working on for years.

"It took a year just to get to groundbreaking so it's taken some time, it's taken some diligence to stay with it," commission chairman Greg Matherly said. Matherly is also a parent to two children who will attend the new school.

Many parents and teacher said they have been waiting even longer.

"There have been lots of years that we've been downtrodden by the facility that we have because it's not conducive," Mengee said.

The project is expected to cost around $28 million. About half of the 54-acre lot will be for the school building. The other half will be athletic fields. There will be new technology in each classroom.

"I want to see all new classes and see a new playground," incoming fourth grader Sydney Matherly said.

In the last six years, the number of students in the county school system has dropped by 800. So school leaders are betting on this new school to turn that around.

"For Washington County parents, it's an opportunity to be the pioneer parents for this brand new school," Halliburton said.

The county will also need to build a new road to connect the school to Boones Creek Road. Construction on that is expected to start in the Spring. The school is set to open in the fall of 2019.