Wilson County Schools Experience Growing Pains

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jul 13, 2015

MT JULIET, Tenn. - Growing pains in Wilson County are having an effect on schools.

Mt. Juliet recently passed Lebanon in population and county school officials said they're seeing the largest enrollment increases on the west side of the county.

In the last four years enrollment in the school district has grown by nearly 2900 students.

It's the fastest growth than at any other time in the history of the school district.

Now, the county is trying to keep up by adding more schools and classrooms.

Wilson County Schools Public Information Officer Amelia Hipps said, "The large concentration especially in residential developments is over on the west side."

She said there's a five year school construction plan.

The district wants to build a new elementary school in the Mt. Juliet area, a new middle school in the Providence/Gladeville area, a new high school somewhere on the west side, and a new middle school/elementary school near Mt. Juliet High School.

It's a $270 million plan.

The school system is looking for land, and people willing to sell.

A lot of the growth is in Mt. Juliet. Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty said, "It isn't only Mt. Juliet that is growing and adding students to the school system, but it's also west Wilson County.

Mayor Hagerty points out neither Mt. Juliet High School or Wilson Central High School are in Mt. Juliet. They serve the whole area.

In addition to building new schools the school district is adding on to existing facilities.

Recently, the county commission's budget and education committees approved more than $30 million to renovate the following schools: Tuckers Crossroads, Mt. Juliet Middle, Gladeville Elementary, Southside K-through-8 and Watertown Elementary.

School officials said the 5 year plan is very fluid.

It changes from year to year with the growing demand for more space.

The money approved by the county commission's budget and education committees includes funding a renovation project at the old Lebanon High School. The refurbished building would house administrative offices.