The Dickson County School Board will try to come up with a consensus list of priorities for its building plan tonight, but appears to be heading into that discussion with some differences in opinions. Following a work session earlier this month in which Kaatz, Binkely, Jones and Morris Architects presented a summary of facility needs, Chairman Tim Potter asked each board member to prepare a list of his top priorities in advance of tonight’s meeting. The board hopes to come up with a list that the architects can then add cost projections to so it can be submitted to Mayor Bob Rial and the county commission. But according to a summary of the board members’ recommendations included in the information for tonight’s meeting, other than making security and safety upgrades a top priority, the board members are not starting off in agreement. Five of the six board members list as the first priority making recommended security improvements while Steve Haley lists as his first priority making the Sullivan Sixth Grade Annex of Dickson Middle School a stand-alone middle school and changing some school zones to immediately relieve overcrowding at DMS. Haley lists the security upgrades and restroom renovations as his second priority while board members Potter, Kirk Vandivort and Rich Chandler list construction of a new middle school in Burns as their number-two priority and Josh Lewis and Phil Buckner call for proposed general school renovations that the architects said could postpone the need to build a new middle school. Classroom additions at Oakmont, Stuart-Burns and White Bluff elementary schools are listed third by four board members while Buckner lists construction of new middle and elementary schools as a fourth priority, Lewis lists a new middle school fifth, Vandivort lists a new elementary school fifth and Haley lists new school construction fifth, pretty much following the original recommendation by the architects. While no timeline has yet to be assigned to any of the projects, Rial has said the county will be in a better position to take on more debt for capital projects such as school construction by 2020. The board’s regular meeting is 7:00 tonight at the central office.
Dickson County School Board members’ preliminary priority lists
Kirk Vandivort – 1st School District
Ricky Chandler – 2nd School District
Steve Haley – 3rd School District
Tim Potter – 4th School District
Phil Buckner – 5th School District
Josh Lewis – 6th School District