MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — When Rutherford County students go back to school Tuesday morning, hundreds of them will be walking into the doors of two new schools.
Director of Schools Dr. Bill Spurlock said the county had no choice but to build and open two new schools to accommodate the fast-growing population.
"Each day, according to the statistics, 23 people are coming and residing in Rutherford County," said Spurlock. "That required us to build a high school and an elementary school."
Tuesday morning, Rocky Fork Elementary School in Smyrna and Rockvale High School in Rockvale will open their doors to new students, faculty, and staff. Rocky Fork Elementary will house 850 students and Rockvale High will accommodate 1,800 students, according to the district.
Dr. Spurlock said other schools were overcrowded. At Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro, portable classrooms had to be put in so the school could accommodate more students.
"The first thing we want to do is alleviate as many portables as possible." Spurlock said. "This was a huge task on our part."
With more students and schools now comes another obstacle: finding quality educators. "It's no secret that the teaching field is shrinking. People are retiring," Spurlock said.
But with more teachers in new schools, the district has its eyes on the future.
"We want them to come, get their additional training and education, we want them to come back and stay in our community," Spurlock said.
On The Rise is NewsChannel 5's new initiative committed to highlighting growth in Middle Tennessee, including the challenges and success stories that growth can bring. Learn more about it here.