Sullivan County leaders ask school board to halt West Ridge construction


Sullivan County leaders are calling on the county school board to consider halting construction of the new West Ridge High School. 

The county commission voted 16-6 Thursday night on a resolution asking the Department of Education to “consider putting the construction of West Ridge High School on hold until school fiduciary matters improve and scope and sequence of events pursuant to concurrent construction is founded and known to be exact.”

The county commission wants the school board to take a second look at the finances regarding West Ridge High and the new Sullivan East Middle School. 

Commissioners also made an amendment to ask West Ridge not to open until TDOT has done a safety review on the roadways students would take to get to the school.

County commissioners now think the Sullivan County School Board is more than nine million dollars over budget.

No school board members attended the meeting tonight in Blountville.

The resolution’s sponsor, Commissioner Hershel Glover,  was pleased by the outcome of the vote and says he hopes the school board members will be able to communicate more moving forward.

“I am very happy with the vote,” Glover said. “It’s up to them, if they want to come back to us and give us numbers and show us that they have the money to finish the projects.”

Some parents attended the meeting and told News Channel 11 they want county commissioners and school board members to get on the same page.

“I would prefer that they get together and go through facts and look at the problem as it is currently and work through that problem instead of constantly looking back at who to blame for past issues,” said Rodney Padgett, a concerned parent.

The request now goes to the Sullivan County School Board.

West Ridge High School is set to be open in the fall of 2021.

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