Chapter one million in the story that won't quit:
It looks like the Big Dog and the Emperor have been on the horn this morning, trying to wheel and deal his way into a new Carter Elementary School.
This time, the administration plans to use Partners Development, the No. 2 bidder after the Devon Group chickened out last week because big bad Commissioner Amy Broyles scared them off.
Under county Mayor Tim Burchett's proposed time line – and if the county's school board and industrial development authority give the go head – the plan could be back in the commission's hand in late October for the closing decision.
The county would turn to the No. 2 bidder, Partners Development, and the process would take the same route officials took with the Devon Group, the initial developer.
The administration would need the industrial development board to sign off on it, in what they hope would be a special called meeting in early September. County and school officials would start negotiations with the Knoxville-based developer and at the end of the month ask commissioners to approve a resolution in support of funding the elementary school, in part, by selling other county property.
The plan then would go to the county board of education in early October and back to the industrial development board for its blessing. Commissioners would further discuss it during the Oct 17 work session and make a final vote the following week.
If any of the three boards vote down the plan, then it more than likely dies for good, and the school system is expected to only renovate the historic East Knox County school.
My guess is someone is going to say "no," but, you know, this is Knox County politics. So who knows?
Geez Louise, renovate the damn school already and get the kids into a decent, healthy environment.
We're wasting enough money in staff salaries over this to pay for the entire renovation. Meanwhile, the kids are in a sub-sub-standard building.
BTW, I don't see Kincannon voting for this twice. She looked like she was about to lose her dinner the last time.
I talked to Indya and she didn't flat out say she didn't support it, but she didn't exactly seem on board, either. But, I could have misread her. Pretty sure I didn't, tho.
Don't think Lynn Fugate is on board now that the moneyed folks in Knoxville have vamoosed from this project. In my opinion, she articulated her concerns but didn't want to take the money away from the Devon Group principles.
If this is rebid, relet, and recontracted, the lowest bid will be $18 million and this involves a school that has had zero enrollment growth the last 5 years. The building is quite old and in need of renovation, so renovate the thing as has been done with a number of other old schools comparable in age to Carter Elementary.
Lynn Fugate voted no the first time, along with Deathridge and Trainor.
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