New Middle School & Proposed New High School Information
Street listings and an FAQ about the new middle school and the proposed new high school can be accessed below.
COMMUNITY GROWTH MEETING QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Why is a 5th High School Necessary?
It’s no secret that Wilson County has been experiencing unprecedented growth, since 2010, and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue.
The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce released the following numbers, which offer a glimpse of how the city’s population has recently grown, and what it’s expected to look like, by the year 2035.
Mt. Juliet Population
As the Community Grows… so does our student population:
That means: Our high schools are either "at capacity" or "overcrowded."
Student Population Projections indicate that, by 2020… this is what enrollment numbers will look like, at the high schools that service Mt. Juliet:
Cost Estimates are based on a wide variety of things, including… construction costs in neighboring school districts, rising construction rates, historical reference.
For example, Springdale Elementary just opened last August, and major renovation projects were recently completed at Watertown Elementary, Tuckers Crossroads, Southside Elementary, and Gladeville Elementary
Specifically, the $100 million “cost estimate” is broken down into two categories:
Raw Construction cost: $79 million
Soft Costs: $31 million
*Note: Estimated building cost- $200/sq. ft.
Soft Costs include things like fees such as design and fire marshal, furniture, fixtures, equipment, and any other items that would be needed for a brand new school, including things like band/sports uniforms, athletic equipment, etc.
Why was it so much cheaper to build LHS and Watertown?
It’s impossible to compare the construction costs of Lebanon and Watertown to the new school.
- LHS was built for $47 million, but that project began in 2010, during a severe economic downturn, when construction costs were at rock bottom.
- Watertown H.S. cost $38 million, but that project was bid in 2012, and the school is approximately half the size of the one being considered in Mt. Juliet.
What happens if the new school doesn’t get funding approval?
If a new school isn’t approved, the district will have to seriously consider rezoning. Portables are not an option at MJHS or Wilson Central, due to land constraints.
The other thing you may see is a reduction in the number of electives that students have to choose from. The district is legally required to offer certain core requirements. If there’s a point, when we need a majority of our classrooms to teach those core subjects, some classes could get cut, such as…
AP and Honors classes
Upper level math and science
Foreign language (beyond year 2)
Why can’t we just increase the size of our existing schools and make it work?
Space and logistics make this option unfeasible. Mt. Juliet High School doesn't have enough parking spaces for the students who drive as it is, and Wilson Central H.S., which was built in 2001, is landlocked on all sides.
Some have suggested adding floors to the existing high schools, but from an engineering standpoint, that option is not available to us. Even if it were, what would we do with the students who are currently attending school in those buildings? A project of that magnitude would no doubt require more than a 12-week summer break to complete.
Why can’t we build a bigger school if Mt. Juliet is growing so fast?
Studies have shown time and time again that schools with more than 2,000 start to experience diminishing returns when it comes to performance. Wilson County Schools is one of the highest performing districts in the state. That’s something school leaders are not willing to jeopardize, particularly during a time when ACT scores, Graduation rates, and the number of college scholarships are all on the rise.