Walk-through of academy reveals impressive building

Mar. 11, 2013 @ 12:01 AM

The first aspect of the near-complete Northview Academy that one sees when driving up Winfield Dunn Parkway toward I-40 is the rock retaining wall. Then the orange construction barrels come into view on the right, and if you don’t catch the small, temporary welcome sign, you might not realize that the little gravel path there leads to the school.

But the unfinished, upward-sloping gravel road betrays what comes next: a large, polished building with a green roof adjacent to a paved parking lot and beyond that, an incredible view.

The inside of Northview Academy still smells of fresh construction, but the remaining work is confined to just a few spaces now. The cleaning crew is scheduled to come March 20.

“We are almost complete, and we should be complete by the end of the month,” said Alliance Corporation’s Carl Hobbs, superintendent of the construction project. “Just working on finishes now — the last bit of flooring, acoustical wall panels in auditorium, paint, wood trim, stuff like that.”

Beyond the front doors, the main office is to the left, and the School Resource Officer’s post will be to the right. The school’s colors, green and gold, adorn the walls in the main hallway, where massive prints — a panorama of a mountain range, or a shot of the Earth taken from the moon — cover whole walls. Through the windows on the right, a greenhouse sits between the school and the mountains.

Most of the classrooms are finished, but contain no chairs or desks. Greg Clark, Northview’s future principal, said many of the classrooms will have SMART Boards and other interactive learning tools.

“The SMART Boards and things will go between the white boards,” said Clark, pointing to one end of a classroom.

The school is equipped with space for two computer labs in each of the three hallways, as well as four science labs. There’s even a cosmetology lab, complete with mirrors, sinks and dryer chairs.

Lockers are set in alcoves rather than lining the hallways. “It reduces a lot of traffic in the hallways,” Clark said.

There are also offices for teachers. They’ll have individual cubicles, where they can go between classes.

The second level holds more classrooms, but Clark said that floor won’t be used in the first year.

“The building itself is built for around 1,000 students, and we’re only anticipating 500 to 600 the first year,” he said.

Schools Superintendent Jack Parton said they are still figuring out what to do about the driveway and entrance leading to the school. The gravel road could be paved and made into the main entrance where it’s currently located, or it could be moved over.

“We’re working with TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) and the city of Sevierville on that,” Parton said. “We do know that it will serve as the entrance and the exit, and it will be in place and ready to go by the time school starts.”

Also, Parton added, there will be a different, more prominent sign out front.

rhargett@themountainpress.com