Roane leaders mulling massive school overhaul

Roane County leaders are continuing to learn more about a $68 million proposal to combine three of its high schools into one larger school, relocating one and making improvements to another.

The proposal would close Roane County High School (commonly referred to as Kingston High), and Harriman and Rockwood High Schools, combining their student bodies into one larger school to be located near Roane State Community College in Harriman. Oliver Springs High School would share the current Oliver Springs Middle School building with the middle school, adding a new gym and technical education space.

The plan calls for retiring the buildings currently housing Ridge View Elementary, Harriman Middle, Roane County High and Oliver Springs High from service. Ridge View would then move to the present Rockwood High facility, and Harriman Middle will be moved to that nearby high school facility.

Some have estimated that to fully fund the proposed plan would require a 36- to 38-cent property tax increase.

Earlier this month, the Roane County School Board approved the plan in a 9-1 vote. There will be a County Commission work session to discuss the plan on Thursday night at 6:30 pm at Kingston High School, which will be open to the public.  The full Commission is expected to consider the issue at its next meeting on May 14.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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