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Jonesborough to host celebration for new K-8 school

Robert Houk • Jan 6, 2020 at 7:41 PM

Town leaders will host a community party on Wednesday to celebrate Jonesborough’s K-8 school and sports complex building project.

Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said the public is invited to the event, which will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the town’s McKinney Center.

“We are excited about the project,” Vest said of the town’s commitment to build a new K-8 school and athletic facilities to be leased by the county. “The celebration is open to anyone who wants to come.”

Vest said he and other town officials especially want to invite those who played a key role “in the good outcome” that has resulted in the $32.75 million project. 

“We want to show our appreciation to the parents, teachers, school board members and county commissioners who made this possible,” he said.

The mayor said city leaders have also been asked to attend the celebration.

David Crockett High School’s Madrigal Singers and Jonesborough Elementary School’s physical education class dance unit are scheduled to perform at the ceremony. Light refreshments will also be served. 

Vest said the project is now moving “full steam ahead,” with the new school’s design committee expected to begin its meetings next month. The mayor said preliminary work has already started, with county school officials and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office discussing security issues at the new school.

Town Administrator Bob Browning and Vest will represent Jonesborough on the design committee. Washington County commissioners have named Commissioner Jodi Jones to join county Mayor Joe Grandy as their representatives on the committee.

The Washington County Board of Education has named an art teacher at Jonesborough Elementary School as its fourth member of the design committee for the project. Jan Allen, a veteran teacher with the school system, will join the board’s three members from the Jonesborough school district — Mary Beth Dellinger, Todd Ganger and Phillip McLain — on the committee.

A ceremonial signing of the interlocal agreement for the K-8 school project was held in November. The County Commission voted on Oct. 28 to approve a 38-year lease-purchase agreement with the town to finance and construct the project.

Jonesborough is slated to buy a 48-acre tract of pasture land — located off North Cherokee Street behind the George P. Jaynes Justice Center — to build the 900-student Jonesborough school and athletic complex with a gymnasium and playing fields.

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