City elementary school construction underway

Candy’s Creek Cherokee

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Staff Writer
Posted 10/31/17

Construction is well underway at the site of the Cleveland City Schools system’s newest elementary school, located off Highway 60 between Paul Huff Parkway and Gregory Lane. 

Workers have …

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City elementary school construction underway

Candy’s Creek Cherokee

Posted

Construction is well underway at the site of the Cleveland City Schools system’s newest elementary school, located off Highway 60 between Paul Huff Parkway and Gregory Lane. 

Workers have been laying the groundwork for the new Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School for about two months now, said Hal Taylor, director of operations for the school district. 

“I think everybody’s happy with the progress so far,” said Taylor. 

The single-story building will boast some 95,700 square feet, in an effort to accommodate the growing number of families moving into Cleveland. 

The work so far has mostly been related to preparing the site for the building’s foundation, extending water lines and the like. 

However, workers reached a big milestone last week; they raised the first steel beams. The beams are helping frame out the stage area which will be combined with the school’s gym. 

Students and teachers will have class in three different wings of the building, separated by grade level — kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade and fourth and fifth grade. 

Taylor said the beauty of this design is that it will include features catering to the different needs students have. For example, the kindergarten and first-grade wing will have its own restrooms. 

With the Tennessee Department of Transportation looking at eventually widening Highway 60, plans are being made for this as well. 

The building itself will set far back from the street, allowing for a winding driveway. Taylor said the goal is to be able to adequately “stack” traffic on school property, without impeding traffic on the highway. 

“From the front, you’ll pretty much see just the school building,” Taylor said. “We are laying things out so we can have this ‘stacking’ in front and the playground in the back.” 

The new building, under construction by J&J Contractors, is expected to be completed by March 2019, with students arriving to use it in August of that year. 

Though there is still quite a bit left on the to-do list, school officials and board members are beginning to choose some of its finishing touches. 

During its meeting Monday, the Cleveland Board of Education voted on the brick selection for the building’s exterior.

In the coming months, the board will also look at choosing the school’s mascot and colors, so some of the interior design colors can be determined. As the new school is named after a historic school for Cherokee children, one board member suggested Monday the colors could be reminiscent of nature. 

Taylor said he expects the public will be excited to hear school officials are talking about the finer details of the school’s construction, rather than just talking in abstract terms. It’s no longer a matter of if the city will get a new elementary school — but when.

“Right now, we’re making good progress,” Taylor said. “We’re right on the target with where we need to be. … It’s beginning to look like a building.” 

This is the first time in about 10 years the city school district has overseen the construction of an entirely new school property.

Mayfield Elementary School’s current building, completed in 2007, was the latest. 

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