An expansion of Charlotte Middle School moved closer to reality after Dickson County Commissioners recently gave preliminary approval to school leaders’ plan.
Additions to Charlotte Middle will possibly delay or stop discussion of a new Creek Wood middle school, which was suggested by an outside firm, the Lewis Group, as a solution for aging facilities and overcrowding.
Expansion of Dickson Elementary School was also preliminarily approved.
Dickson County Schools Director Dr. Danny Weeks, who made the presentation at the March 6 commission meeting, was seeking the commission's approval before the school board made further decisions.
Proposed Charlotte Middle changes
The list of proposed changes, which were determined by county school district administrators and the school board, in the Charlotte Middle area includes the following:
New additions to Charlotte Middle School.
Create more space for up to 350 students.
Create a new front entrance.
Update “core” spaces that are shared by everyone: Office, cafeteria, etc.
Build a new gym.
Reroof the building.
Improve the windows and exterior doors on most of the building.
Develop a new traffic pattern around the school.
Other projects, program expansions
Commissioners said they also supported the planned expansion of Dickson Elementary School.
The project includes adding new classroom space and updating the cafeteria and kitchen.
"I like what I am seeing at Dickson Elementary,” said Commissioner Jody Britt. He added that DES should no longer have students learning in portable classrooms.
Also endorsed was adding space for career and technical education at Creek Wood High School.
The commission gave a "non-binding vote" to approve of the general direction the county school board is headed.
Lewis Group study
The Lewis Group was hired in late 2021 by the board to provide an independent assessment of Dickson County Schools needs. The group’s study determined the following:
Expansion and renovation of Dickson Elementary; relocating Dickson County High School’s ninth grade, constructing a Creek Wood middle school, and purchasing land for a new elementary school. The study also recommended moving The Discovery School students to a new school and rezoning for the elementary schools.
Dickson County High School ninth grade students were relocated to the former Sullivan Elementary building at the start of this school year.
The Lewis Group concluded that most of the county school district facilities, particularly the elementary schools, could be used more efficiently.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: What's next, where as Dickson County schools expansion moves forward?