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New Nolensville high school site identified

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Corrected at 10 a.m. to fix typo on sale price. BHP regrets the error
What comes first: Land, performing arts centers?

By SUSAN LEATHERS

Brentwood Home Page
Relief is in sight for overcrowded Ravenwood High School on Wilson Pike. On Monday night, Dr. Mike Looney told the Williamson County Board of Education that WCS staff has identified a 75-acre parcel of land at the corner of Nolensville and York roads.

WCS officials and the unnamed land owner have  agreed to a $3 million purchase price, Looney said. The Williamson County Commission had previously approved an expenditure of up to $3 million for property for the new high school.  On Monday,  school board members voted 11-1 to approve an option to purchase an additional 25 acres of adjacent property for $1 million, the same per-acre price as the larger parcel, within the next four years.

How and if that additional purchase would affect funding of long-budgeted but not built performing arts centers at three of the county’s oldest high schools – including Brentwood High – was a big part of the board discussion prior to resolution’s approval.

Board member Tim McLaughlin (4th District) told Looney he had no problem with buying the land but did not want the purchase to push back the arts centers any longer. Later in the meeting Susan Graham, who represents a large section of Brentwood,  shared similar concerns.

“I don’t think we can move those things forward without providing space for basic instruction,” Looney told McLaughlin. When Graham asked if he thought funding for the performing arts centers could be attained before the $1 million is secured for the additional 25 acres, Looney said yes.

Looney told the board that 100 total acres are needed to accommodate either a new elementary or middle school as well. All of the schools that will ultimately feed into the new Nolensville-area high school – Nolensville Elementary, Sunset Elementary and Sunset Middle – are all projected to be at or above capacity soon, Looney said.

A benefit of the identified site, Looney noted, is that it already has sewer and utilities on site. An unrestricted easement would also make access via both Nolensville and York roads available.

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