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Carter Elementary School on time, debt free

By Focus Staff

A crowd of approximately 200 gathered last week as Knox County took possession of the new Carter Elementary School during a ceremonial check presentation event.

“It took a lot of work to get to this point, but today we can officially say the new Carter Elementary School is a reality,” Mayor Burchett said.  “In fact, we were able to go from a planned renovation to a brand new school without adding new debt…and now the children and families in the Carter Community have a new school they can be proud of.”

Knox County school board had previously voted multiple times to renovate the school’s existing campus. Yet, in 2011 Mayor Burchett announced that he planned to sell county property in order to generate $11.3 million for the completion of a new facility. The school board would then be responsible for the $2.5 million it had designated for renovations. The issue remained controversial throughout the funding process, but ultimately Burchett won the battle for a new facility.

The real victors, however, were members of the Carter community who had been advocating for a new school for decades.

The new building, located on Strawberry Plains Pike in East Knox County, is approximately 90,000 square feet and is designed to educate 650 students.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, along with Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre, Knox County School Board members, Knox County Commissioners and other officials presented Partners Development with a ceremonial check totaling nearly $13.9 million in exchange for the keys to the new school. Community members present were then invited to tour the new building.

During the event, Mayor Burchett thanked the Knox County Board of Education and the Knox County Commission, as well as the Industrial Development Board and both Partners Development and Messer Construction for their role in making the new school a reality.

“Specifically, I want to acknowledge Commissioner Dave Wright and School Board Member Mike McMillan who never let me forget about the need for this school,” Burchett added

While construction crews still have some minor work left to complete, the new Carter Elementary School will be ready for students in time for the start of the new school year in August.  It is located at 8455 Strawberry Plains Pike between McCubbins Rd. and S. Molly Bright Rd.