The Stoney Creek area of Carter County is in need of a new school. In fact, it’s in need of several.
The residents of Stoney Creek have been promised a new school in the past. More than a decade ago, there was talk of building a new high school, but that was all it was.
Now, there’s a push to build a middle school to near the Watauga Industrial Park. As Press Elizabethton Bureau Chief John Thompson reported in Tuesday’s paper, the cost to build the new school is expected to total $16 million.
That’s a lot of county money to spend in one place. It’s also likely double the total amount of county tax dollars that have been returned to the Stoney Creek community in the past 20 years.
Building a school near the industrial park has many advantages, including saving money on its construction. It’s estimated that Carter County could save as much as $700,000 on the building’s design (no need for a septic system) by tapping onto Elizabethton sewer.
A 600-student middle school at the site would also be convenient for grade 5-8 pupils at Keenburg, Hunter and Unaka.
There is a definite need for a new school in Stoney Creek. The question that needs to be answered now is: How should the county pay for it?
Unless that question is answered in the next budget, this latest proposal for a new school in Stoney Creek will again be just talk.
And we’ve heard enough talk.