Sullivan County school board delays bid for West Ridge High School

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- - A plan to build a new Sullivan County high school is on hold, at least for a few weeks.

Sullivan County board members learned the new West Ridge High School is millions of dollars over budget. 

West Ridge High School is the Sullivan County consolidated high school that will replace Sullivan South, Sullivan North and Sullivan Central High Schools. 

During Thursday's called meeting, parents had the chance to express their concerns for the new high school after school board member Mark Ireson made a motion to let the public speak.

Architect Dineen West presented a draft contract to the board of a $54 million contract with JA Street & Associates to build the new high school. The contract did not include the football stadium or the baseball fields. 

Sullivan County Director of Schools Evelyn Rafaloski said the board plans to fund those projects with their savings.

"We were going to make a second recommendation that would have been to take $4.8 million out of our fund balance for alternate two and three in the West Ridge High School bid to make sure that we got all the athletic facilities that we wanted," Rafaloski said.

But when it came times to vote, Ireson make a motion to let the board vote on the bid in August. 

"I think it's really ridiculous that we're saying this to everyone here that we have to do it right now, we have to get it done," Ireson said. 

It was a tense meeting as parents approached the board to voice their concerns about a new consolidated high school that would replace three current high schools. It's a plan that has been controversial from the start. 

The next meeting for the Sullivan County school board is set for August 1.

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