The future is near

Northview Academy closing in on completion
Mar. 11, 2013 @ 12:03 AM

The eminent 187,000- square-foot Northview Academy is nearly ready for the projected 525-550 students who will walks its halls beginning the 2013-14 school year.

“The school itself should be finished by the end of this month,” said Sevier County Schools Superintendent Jack Parton. “Everything is on target, where it’s supposed to be. We’re waiting on some work on the outside of the school as we speak, like stadium seating for the football field, fencing for perimeters, getting more pavement and grass to grow.”
 
Most students will come from the Catlettsburg and Northview communities, so they don’t have to make the drive to one of the other high schools. Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from Catlettsburg Elementary School and Northview Middle School will transfer to Northview Academy to make up the seventh, eighth and ninth grades there.
 
“We hope we pick up students from the Boyds Creek community as well,” Parton said. “We’ll have all the extracurricular activities, within the standing that we’ll only have those three grades next year.”
 
Parton said they’re in the process of interviewing potential candidates for faculty positions, but the vast majority of employees will just be moving from Catlettsburg Elementary and Northview Middle. Six or seven teachers will also move from Sevier County High School (SCHS), which will see a decrease in enrollment, offset by the teachers departing.
 
“Teachers always follow students,” Parton said. “That was the premise, to offset overcrowding at SCHS. We should hopefully drop their enrollment to 1,200 or 1,300 students, because students from Catlettsburg and Northview would not be going there.”
 
Catlettsburg Elementary will become a K-6 school. Fourth grade from Northview Primary will move to Northview Middle to create a 4-6 intermediate school, while Northview Primary becomes a K-3 school. These changes reflect the new K-3, 4-6, 7-12 format that Sevier County Schools are moving towards.
 
“Our plan is to build a Seymour junior high next, then do Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg projects,” Parton said.
 
Catlettsburg Elementary and Northview Middle will not cut classes, though the number of offerings may decrease.
 
Northview Academy, which was built for approximately 1,100-1,200 students, sits on 33 acres of property, but Parton said the school system is pursuing more property in the area to build an additional junior academy.
 
“We are land-strapped out there, but we’re looking to purchase more property,” he said.
 
The lack of property means the school’s various sports teams will have to practice on the grass football field.
 
Zoning remains strictly a transportation issue. Children from any part of the county can attend any school, but the buses have certain routes.
 
“Parents can still allow their children to attend any of our schools, but if the bus routes don’t go in front of their homes, they’ll have to provide transportation to and from school,” Parton said.
 
rhargett@themountainpress.com