School leaders discuss future of West Ridge HS, hope to stop spread of misinformation

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BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Sullivan County schools leaders are hoping to phase out incorrect information when it comes to the development at West Ridge High School.

“There have been some pretty fantastic stories that have circulated that just have absolutely have no basis in truth,” said Sullivan County Director of Schools Dr. David Cox.

It was just one topic addressed at a Sullivan County school board retreat earlier this week regarding project for the Sullivan County School Department.

Cox hopes to cut down on false social media rumors that have circulated around the new school.

Those included incorrect rumors that West Ridge High School would not have athletic facilities and alleged sinkholes at the construction site.

“Whenever you’re on a site like this, they do some blasting,” he said. “There’s some settling and so that was mistaken for an actual sink hole.”

Sullivan County Schools is now considering hiring a public information officer to combat these myths.

“Being able to have a more robust website and social media presence, as well as helping get all of the news and information going on in the school, are something we are really interested in working towards,” said Cox.

Turf fields and addressing traffic flow at West Ridge High School were also discussed.

Cox said artificial turf is being considered for its football field which is under construction. That will be next to a field house and other athletic facilities.

“We’ve met with the principals and the athletic and the band boosters, so everybody seems to be in favor of that,” he said.

Improvements to Lynn Road are also being discussed in order to improve traffic flow around the area of the future high school.

“We are in conversation with the highway commission here in Sullivan County, the city of Kingsport and county government about actually widening the road there for turn lanes and making some road improvements,” said Cox.

West Ridge High School is expected to be completed by fall 2021.

Sullivan East Middle School is also expected to be open by January 2020.

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