The summer provides a time for school districts to upgrade, renovate, and build schools in their district without having to disrupt students, but leading into the 2017-2018 school year, some schools in the Metropolitan Nashville School District were still under construction, with completion not expected before students arrive.
“When you look around the city, all we see is cranes, that means there’s a ton of construction going on which means there’s a shortage of construction labor which leads to project delays, not just in school projects, but in commercial projects as well,” Will Pinkston, Metro Nashville School Board member, said.
One of the projects still under construction is John Overton High School, which is undergoing a $40 million renovation.
“The makeover’s running a little behind schedule, but we’re dealing with it,” Pinkston said.
Pinkston is a graduate of John Overton High School, and he said the school was in need of a renovation due to the aging infrastructure and the growing student population.
“I think it’s important to have nice, comfortable, habitable space that facilities teaching and learning, and that’s what we’re aiming for with this building and others,” Pinkston explained, adding that even though the project was behind schedule, it shouldn’t keep students from learning. “We’ll have plenty of flexible space inside the building for teachers and students to get their work done until this is finished up.”
Every year Metro Nashville Public Schools have a budget between $100 million and $150 million to build, renovate, and upgrade schools, and with this specific project being such a large one, officials know the inconvenience is worth the long-term benefits.
“The short term is going to be noise and a little bit of cramped space inside the building until everything gets done, but the long-term payoff is a world-class high school, which this neighborhood deserves,” Pinkston said.
School was scheduled to start at John Overton High School on Monday, August 7.