No move planned yet

School system building remains warehouse for now
Nov. 30, 2012 @ 11:24 PM

Three years after the Sevier County School System purchased a building in the John L. Marshall Technology Park off Pittman Center Road to house its transportation units and move its central office, the building's identity is still in transition.

The school system purchased the building and surrounding property for $1,725,000 in 2009 with the intention to move its central offices and transportation department there, Director of Schools Jack Parton said.

Currently, the transportation department has made a successful move to the new building — 10,000 square feet of the building's total 30,000 square feet are being used for transportation, and over 40 buses sit in the adjacent parking lot.

But the other side of the building has cobwebs all across its locked doors. A peak inside the windows reveals a large warehouse space that contains boxes rather than offices.

This 20,000-square-foot space is being used for storage and as a staging area for the school system. Parton said items such as furniture and supplies are being stored in the building for future use. For example, if the school system ordered furniture for Northview Academy, the furniture would be held in this building until it's needed.

Director of Finance Karen King said the warehouse space probably will be converted into the administrative offices, but that plan won't take effect until much later.

"The plan is making it central services, but at the present time, that's not on the agenda," King said. "It would be a large renovation process, and right now we have other needs that are more pressing."

Parton also said money was preventing the school system to move its central offices out of their current location on Cedar Street in downtown Sevierville.

"The new location will be for future administrative offices, but not the near future," Parton said. "We want to center on the students right now."