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April 10, 2013

Getting back on track: Clarksville Schools board feels better about New Tech direction with town



But Knott said that’s not the only option available to them. The district may work with the town to discuss demolition of the Value City building and constructing a new structure, or even renovating the middle school for New Tech and moving its students to Clarksville High School.

But after the meeting, she said in facilities studies and visits from New Tech Network officials — with whom the district has committed $463,500 — the Value City site is the clear choice.

“Any time you have to resort to Plan B ... you’re not as happy,” Knott said. “We’ve had over 50 people collectively look at the Value City site, [the middle school] and others, and they all concur that Value City is the best option. If we have to look elsewhere, we will.”

A facilities study presented to the board in February put the cost of renovating the middle school for New Tech at between $16 million and $18 million, about three times the school corporation’s budget.

She said one way or another, Clarksville will have New Tech High School open in August 2014. She said though the timeline has been pushed back now, they’ll still have other options. She said since only freshmen will attend the first year, they can continue to build the other portions of the facility after it opens for the first class.

But she said opening a temporary facility is out of the question, citing it as a bad use of taxpayer dollars.

“I think we’re still on track,” Knott said. “I don’t think I’ve ever put a timeline together without any bumps in the road. I’m used to that and I think the board is used to that.”

Wilson said he thinks town officials are mindful of how much money the district has allotted and are trying to work within those constraints to find a solution.

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