Wilson County elementary school hit by March 2020 tornadoes in construction limbo

Stoner Creek Elementary
Posted at 8:34 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 23:22:26-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — It was a school that took a direct hit during the tornadoes of March 2020. Ever since then, students and teachers at Stoner Creek Elementary have been in temporary classrooms waiting for their new school building to open.

NewsChannel 5 learned this week they'll have to wait a little longer.

"Fall break had always been that target date to get Stoner Creek completed," said Bart Barker, spokesperson for Wilson County Schools.

At the Wilson County School Board meeting Monday night, families learned that the new Stoner Creek Elementary building will not be move-in ready by fall break.

"There are some shipping delays, that shouldn’t be a surprise to really anyone, in this era, in this day and time," said Barker.

Specifically, they are waiting on key shipments of metal roofing, specialty glass and two electrical panels.

"They are very specialized, 400 amps. It’s not something you can just go purchase. The job’s superintendent told me they’ve been ordered for a long time, so," said Travis Mayfield, deputy director of operations for Wilson County Schools.

Stoner Creek students have been a bit nomadic since March 2020, when the tornadoes left the building in ruins. Most classrooms are currently either in portables or what's left of West Wilson Middle School.

"Stoner Creek students, families, teachers, administration — they are more than ready for this and we are ready to give them the keys to this beautiful new school," said Barker.

The new target date for the construction company to hand over the keys to the school system is Nov. 1, but even then, it won't be ready to start hosting classes.

"We’ve got our technology and IT stuff that we need to get in there and set up. Teachers will have to get stuff moved into their classrooms," said Mayfield.

Wilson County Schools leaders are optimistic about students seeing their new school before the end of the semester.

"To get that school open online and transitioned before winter break gets here in December — but we’re talking about hopefully much sooner than that in the November time frame," said Barker.

But then again, you know what they say about the construction.

District leaders did say they will directly communicate with all stakeholders as they get close to a grand opening celebration.

Students formerly assigned to West Wilson Middle School are also waiting to learn when they'll get a new building. According to Wilson County Schools, site work is being done now on the new campus, but it's still several years from completion.