JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Johnson City school board and city leaders met today to discuss facility improvements to Johnson City Schools.
A safety improvement is set to take place this week at Science Hill High School. Leaders said a manual gate will be installed by the end of this week, located on the back side of Cotty Jones Lane by the tennis court. School leaders say it will lock the part of the building where career technology education is held during school hours.
Leaders also discussed a master plan for Science Hill as they anticipate future growth and enrollment.
They have chosen Thomas Weems Architect to conduct the study. Leaders said the business worked on the new science labs in the high school.
“We [want] to make it first, safe,” said Johnson City Schools Superintendent Steve Barnett. “But then to utilize that space to maximize the investment that the community’s made at Science Hill and our facility.”
The study will focus on public safety, traffic flow and possible expansion of programs like JROTC and swim facilities.
“Those types of things are going to be a part of this study that would be very expensive plans, but I feel like we need to address those and look at them to plan for the future,” said Assistant City Manager for Johnson City Andy Trivette.
Trivette said the architect will be partnering with a safety specialist as they conduct the study.
Other considerations coming into play are the availability of space, with Freedom Hall and Liberty Bell Middle School being close by.
“So, all of those things have to be taken as separate pieces but kind of studied as a whole to see how one impacts the other,” said Trivette.
Barnett estimates there are about 2,400 students enrolled in the high school. The architect’s study will give a clearer idea of Science Hill’s capacity.
“That’s going to help us answer that question: How many students would be the appropriate number to consider that we would have a maximum number of students on Science Hill’s campus,” said Barnett.
Barnett said they will receive an update on current enrollment Wednesday.
The master plan could pave the way for Johnson City Schools for the next five to ten years.
Both parties are working to set up a meeting to decide on a cost for the study. Leaders anticipate the architect to be ready to conduct the study by the end of this year.