NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Students and staff may have to stay in portable classrooms for another school year as plans to rebuild Tusculum Elementary are on hold.
The project stalled because the owner of a neighboring building wants to make sure his property can remain a bar.
It doesn't look like much, but an old Lowe's building on Nolensville Road is a key piece to Metro Schools’ strategy to relieve overcrowding.
“We could build a school in the Lowe's building very quickly,” schools spokesperson Joseph Bass said. “What we had planned to do is build classrooms along the outside walls, cut new windows so every classroom has new windows.”
District leaders want the Lowes to serve as a temporary site for Tusculum Elementary school at the beginning of 2016 while a new school is built at its current site.
After students return to the new Tusculum Elementary, the district hoped to keep the building and permanently use it as a new school.
“The big communal rooms like the music room, PE room, library; they would all be in the center,” Bass added about the plans.
Part of the plan includes tearing up the asphalt to make room for green space. As a result it would slightly change access to the property and available parking which requires approval from neighboring businesses. All but one has signed off on the plan.
Owners of TNT's Bar and Grill have been there for three years and have made it very clear that they're not thrilled that another school moving in.
“The biggest part of it is I have to be so far away from a church and or a school to open a bar, but they can set one forty feet away from me,” the general manager told NewsChannel 5 in a prior interview.
Now the owner of their building is also chiming in by withholding a key signature.
“And this gentleman will sign he has said if we change the legislation allowing him to forever have a beer license at his building,” Davette Blalock, Metro Council District 27 representative said. “So that is the legislation that I have brought forward.”
If TNT were to move out, the current law could place restrictions on another bar moving in.
“What this does is protect our properties rights and I'm all for property rights,” Blalock added.
It's unclear if the proposal is enough to satisfy the building owner, who wouldn't provide NewsChannel 5 with more information about his concerns.
“What we've told teachers and parents and the Tusculum community is that the project is on hold,” Bass said.
It's on hold for now until mutually agreeable terms are reached, or the district comes up with another option.