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Should Jonesborough Elementary be renovated?

Johnson City Press • Oct 30, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Washington County officials have approved a plan to renovate and expand Jonesborough Elementary School to create a kindergarten through eighth-grade facility for up to 1,100 students.

Meanwhile, the existing Jonesborough Middle School would be converted into an academic magnet high school for the county’s high-achieving scholars bound for college.

Press staff writer Jessica Fuller reported earlier this month that some Washington County Board of Education members are having second thoughts about the plan to refurbish Jonesborough Elementary after hearing from constituents who want to “tear down the round” and build a new school for Jonesborough students.

Some parents and teachers now say they would prefer to see the 50-year-old saucer portion of the elementary school torn down and replaced with a new facility.

School board member Mary Beth Dellinger, who represents the Jonesborough district, said she has received a number of comments from her constituents.

“They are concerned about the lack of equity and planning for the students in Jonesborough versus the students in Boones Creek,” Dellinger said. “It’s difficult for parents in Jonesborough to understand why Boones Creek is getting a new $25 million facility when enrollment at Jonesborough is around 100 more students.”

In May, the Washington County Commission approved a spending plan for school capital projects, among other things, after a 40-cent increase in property taxes. Under that plan, $24.3 million was allocated for the new Boones Creek school and $20.7 million for the Jonesborough K-8 and magnet projects.

We want to know what you think. Should Jonesborough Elementary be renovated and expanded or should it be demolished and replaced with new construction?

Send your comments to mailbag@johnsoncitypress.com. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification

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