Crowded Antioch schools use portables as new building debated - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Crowded Antioch schools use portables as new building debated

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Schools in Antioch are so overcrowded, hundreds of students in one of Nashville's fastest-growing communities attend class in portables.

"This school is built for about 650 to 700 kids. Right now, we're over 900 students," said Adam Bryson, assistant principal at Lakeview Elementary.

Lakeview currently uses 10 portable classrooms, and next year, they will need another seven.

Several other Antioch-area schools are in the same pinch.

"We're kind of bursting at the seams," Bryson said.

Many people agree a new school is needed, but there is controversy about where to build it.

"My goodness, when is somebody going to say, 'You know what? The people that are paying the bill, maybe we ought to listen to them, instead of acting like we know better than they do,'" said Metro Councilman Robert Duvall.

Duvall said most of his constituents oppose Metro Nashville Public Schools' plan to build a new school on a property off Smith Springs Road.

He said neighbors' main concerns include worsening traffic and risking children's safety.

"They're going to have to walk down a winding, narrow, two-lane road in areas where there is very little to no shoulder at all," Duvall said.

Metro school leaders point out many parents are in favor of the site and added that experts have done several studies to find the best location.

"We look at the accessibility. We look at the road quality, the traffic patterns. We have engaged civil engineers to do traffic studies," said MNPS spokeswoman Olivia Brown.

"I don't care what kind of studies they've had and what they say. I think they're flawed," Duvall said.

The final say on purchasing the land for a new building lies with the Metro Council, and the council is expected to take its first vote on buying the property at its next meeting.

District leaders say even if approval happens soon, it would take until Fall 2015 to open the doors of the new school.

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