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Rebuilding effort for West Wilson Middle School may see big step forward

WilsonWest - tornado damage march 2020
Posted at 9:29 AM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 10:29:15-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — More than two years later, West Wilson Middle School is still waiting to be rebuilt following the March 2020 tornadoes.

There could be a big step forward on Monday night during the Wilson County Commission meeting. The commission will vote on the budget, including approving bonds to rebuild the school.

The school was home to about 800 sixth through eighth graders before it was destroyed in the tornadoes.

For perspective, there is about $9 million left from the insurance settlement, after using a portion to pay for other things, like rebuilding Stoner Creek Elementary.

The low bid for rebuilding West Wilson Middle is more than $51 million, plus another $10 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Once the rest of the insurance money is spent, 90% of the additional expenses will be reimbursed by Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The commission will vote Monday night on whether to approve $60 million in bonds, that are hoped to be paid off once FEMA reimburses the funds. The hope is that all the FEMA funding will be received within five years.

NewsChannel 5 is told it will take about two years for the school to be finished.