If Putnam County builds a new K-8 school, it will likely mean the closure of Park View Elementary school.
However, Director of Schools Corby King said the school system would evaluate Park View and its potential for other uses to extend the life of the building.
“I personally would like to see us think about utilizing that as a Pre-K center for Cookeville schools,” King said “and that would be my recommendation for the school board. But also realizing this is three years, four years down the road, we may have other needs by then.”
King said bringing Pre-K programs to a central location would increase capacity at the individual elementary schools. King said that the new school would double Park View’s capacity, making its total capacity some 1,000 students.
King said that Putnam County Commission will vote to approve the bond issuance for the new school Monday night. He said that if approved, their current timeline would have the new school up and running by the school year 2024-2025.
“The timeline that our architects have provided the county commission and our school board,” King said. “If we get approval for the new school moving forward, we begin working with the architects, bidding the project and preparing to bid in September, and the bids would come out sometime next spring, and then construction is about a 22-month window according to the architects. So we’re looking at some time in late spring in 2024, I think is what the timeline was, for the new building to be complete.”
King said the schools will continue to evaluate enrollment trends and zoning as the process continues. He said the system went through a rezoning around two years ago, and that the need to rezone may arise again.
“As these neighborhoods are built in various areas, it’s something we have to continuously evaluate,” King said. “We hope that we’ve drawn the lines to accommodate growth without having to move any families around more than necessary. It’s not something that we want to do on an annual basis for sure. We would like when we draw zone lines not to have to make any changes for a five to ten year period if at all possible, but we’re growing very quickly in the community as you realize and I know families realize that as well.”
King said that new neighborhoods and new developments continuing to pop up is something they monitor and make adjustments where necessary.
As of now, King said the official future for Park View remains to be seen. He said as the process moves forward, it is something he and the school board will continue to discuss.