Wilson County continues to rebuild schools destroyed by 2020 tornadoes

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WSMV) – The Wilson County school board unanimously approved building designs for West Wilson Middle School on Monday night.

This design is for a one-story facility to help with area reduction, speed of construction, and phasing students in.

Portable buildings were added to the land for students in January and several were inspected and allowed to stay.

Having a one-story building will speed up construction by not dealing with stair towers or elevator towers. The existing building will have a spine to the main entrance.

The one-story design is also heavily influenced by the idea of a tornado shelter for students and staff. 2018 building codes require a tornado shelter and is included in the drawings for the new building.

“With one story to help speed up, they can start on one end even with the phasing because once they get a part of it built, they can go in behind with electricians and finishes and not have to wait on the second floor to be put on,” one school board member explained.

The design for the school is 98% done with the next step being the bidding process for who would do the construction.

One concern board members have is how quickly West Wilson Middle School may reach capacity. It is approved for 1,500 students, with 1,560 students expected by 2026.

One board member like to see the design expanded to accommodate more children.

“We are working on securing land, but we want to make sure it’s on the forefront of people’s mind that we are building a building that is close to full when the doors open,” she explained. “We would have been there if the tornado had not destroyed the building, but it is a concern”

The designer also says to add more space for capacity, they’d have to build up and right now they want to keep it as a one-story building.

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