Annexation prompts reconstruction of Harold McCormick

By Julie Fann
Star Staff

The Elizabethton City School Board, at its monthly meeting last week, decided that reconstruction of Harold McCormick Elementary School would begin today. City Schools Superintendent Judy Blevins said the recent annexation of Carter County's west end may bring approximately 49 new students to West Side School.
   "We may need to move some tuition paying students from West Side to Harold McCormick. We received a notice from Mr. Ornduff's office about the annexation, so I think we need to begin reconstruction right away. I'm still not certain how many new students we will be getting," Blevins said.
   Jeff Lyons, who is overseeing the project through Johnson Control, plans to convert the auxiliary gym into three classrooms and one teacher's workroom. His team also plans to add two new restrooms and, possibly, an elevator that will go up to the second floor cafeteria.
   "I am optimistic about this investment. We need more classrooms to prepare for a larger student population at West Side and Harold McCormick," Blevins said. A recent census conducted of the newly annexed west end of Carter County confirmed 645 new residents. David Ornduff, Director of Planning and Development, anticipates receiving approximately $84 in state-shared revenue per person from the annexation.
   T.A. Dugger Junior High School has also undergone recent cosmetic repair to the section of roof that covers the band room area. The school board plans to build a media center at the school. However, with the current budget situation, Board Chairman Jonathan Bremer said there wasn't enough capital to build the center and reconstruct Harold McCormick.
   Johnson Controls also recently added four new fire doors to Harold McCormick School, to adhere to new fire marshal codes.
   Another renovation that is near completion are improvements to the swimming pool at Elizabethton High School. Wear and tear to the pool and the surrounding area resulted in serious architecture problems.
   Lyons said the pool is now approximately 80 percent complete and will re-open possibly before the new school year begins.
   "It is great that these improvements have been made because a lot of people besides students use that pool. Our seniors use it quite a bit, and I know they'll be glad to have it repaired," Bremer said.
   Lyons said his team is working on installing new lighting and also grinding the terrazzo, the mosaic flooring that surrounds the pool. Renovated dressing rooms are also near completion.
   Lyons also plans to install a new dehumidification system soon. The board plans to hold an open house to welcome residents to the newly renovated facility.
   "It's really going to look great when it's finished," Lyons said.