Information from WYSH Radio
Meeting in a special session Thursday night in the auditorium of Roane County High School in Kingston, the Roane County School Board voted to scrap its controversial plan to consolidate the county’s five high schools into one 2,200-student “mega-school.”
Earlier this year, the School Board voted to move forward with a plan to combine Harriman, Midway, Oliver Springs, Rockwood, and Roane County (commonly called Kingston) high schools and passed it along to the County Commission for consideration. The proposal, however, parked an immediate backlash, as many parents—especially those from the Midway and Oliver Springs school zones—voiced concerns, specifically about the increased travel time for students to and from school.
The school system conducted a survey of parents about the plan, and officials said that over 60 percent of those who responded were against the school consolidation plan, saying that they preferred a more community-based education approach over centralizing everything into one school.
Instead, the Board voted 7-3 Thursday to look for ways to improve the existing school buildings. They will work with Knoxville-based architecture and design firm the Lewis Group to develop a plan for what each individual school needs.
WYSH Radio in Clinton is an Oak Ridge Today news partner.