By Louie Graves
There may be a brand new school in Mineral Springs’ future.
The district’s board of directors met with some prospective architects, Monday night, and the idea of a new school is under consideration.
Superintendent Curtis Turner, Jr., is quick to point out that the board has made no decision about a new facility, and if they decide to build a new school they are not limited to the three architects with whom they met. The decision will be the board’s, not his, he emphasized.
Turner said the idea of a new school had been in the back of his mind for maybe a year and a half. After about six months of daydreaming, he said had spoken informally with several architects to get a basic idea of costs and possibilities.
He said he was trying to get an idea whether construction could go on during school days, and if bills could be paid. The three firms are ones with whom he is familiar.
After spending time in fiscal distress, the district now has luxurious borrowing power and a tax base which includes the new electricity plant at McNab. He expects the school’s enrollment to grow. The town of Mineral Springs, itself, is undergoing a kind of renewal.
He told The Nashville Leader that he had tried to picture mentally where one large school could go on the properties already owned by the school.
He said he hoped it could K-12 under one roof, with grades separated by a new gymnasium or other special facilities.
Some existing buildings could be used. The campus includes one wood-frame building dating back to the 1930s, and the newest is the Marjorie Copeland Music Building, only a few years old.
Turner said that construction of a new school could be done in phases, enabling classroom work to go uninterrupted.
“I’m proud of the district and of the fact that you and I can be having this conversation (about a new facility) right now,” he said.
If the board gives its approval, when finances are ready, and everything else falls into place, he figures that construction could actually be underway by the end of the 2015-16 school year.
Turner said that whichever architect firm is chosen, school personnel and patrons would be consulted to get ideas.