Metro Leaders Consider Future of MLK Magnet - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Metro Leaders Consider Future of MLK Magnet

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro's magnet school selection process is just around the corner. If Martin Luther King Jr. is on your list chances are you're not getting in. But school leaders are working during the winter break in hopes of changing that.

The old Pearl High School, now known as Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet is still a gem in the community. A fresh coat of wax prepares the floors for a new year of wear and tear but that's no longer enough. For years the building has been on the waiting list for much needed renovations and now one of Metro's most popular and successful schools is facing an even bigger challenge.

"With the projected increased growth we need to add additional classroom space," Metro Schools Planning and Construction Director, Ken Murdock said.

Enrollment is up and the urban school has a limited space to grow. That's why Metro School leaders said they need a Master plan that outlines changes that need to be made to better address the needs of the entire school.

Building a two story addition on the soccer field, complete with one dozen classrooms and a new cafeteria is one option. The soccer field could possibly move across the street to Watkins Park.

"Talking with parents here and with others the field is very historic and everyone wants to keep it," Murdock said.

Buying the neighboring industrial property is another option. Both plans come with a multi- million dollar price tag.

"In our January board meeting we'll recommend to the board that we hire an architect to begin the master plan," he added.

Also in January, a formal capital request will be made to Metro City Council. Executing the master plan is pending their approval and funding which leaves it out of the school district's hands.

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