The Cleveland City Schools Board of Education has called a special meeting for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the central office.
The city’s school board, made up of chairman Tom Cloud, Dawn Robinson, Peggy Pesterfield, Dr. Murl Dirksen, Richard Shaw, Steve Morgan and George Meacham, will consider approval of a resolution supporting Bradley County’s wheel tax proposal on the August ballot.
Revenue from the proposed wheel tax would be used for Bradley County and Cleveland schools.
The county school board is requesting a new school to replace Blue Springs Elementary, which was destroyed in the April 2011 tornadoes. The county is also seeking funding for expansive renovations at Lake Forest Middle School and major additions for Walker Valley High School.
Based on the 3-to-1 division of revenue agreement between county and city schools (according to enrollment), Cleveland schools would receive approximately $11 million in revenue which could be used to fund a new elementary school on property preferred by the school board on North Lee Highway.
An agreement has not yet been reached on the property by the school board and the Stuart family, but an offer is expected to be forthcoming at a price of $50,000 per acre for the 15-acre Hardwick Farm tract. Director of Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff said the written proposal is expected prior to the Monday, May 7, school board meeting.
The Cleveland schools system has no classroom space remaining for elementary students. All elementary schools are at capacity enrollment, with Mayfield and Blythe-Bower above capacity.
Mayfield’s enrollment increased by 87 students for this current year, and the school was forced to scramble for space. One of school’s two labs, a music class, and a counseling office had to be used for classroom space. The music teacher has been using the auditorium stage throughout the year.
The city school district has some limited classroom space at Cleveland Middle School and Cleveland High. School officials say another large jump in enrollment this fall would be a huge challenge for the district.