Editorial: The view from Northview
If you read reporter Robbie Hargett's stories Sunday on the new Northview Academy under construction, you know that this is a massive undertaking, a multimillion dollar creation of a new campus and fifth high school.
It appears school officials, with contractors and architects, did a great job putting it together. The school seems ideally built to accommodate grades 7-12, segregating the younger kids from the older kids. This will be the first campus in Sevier County in many years to house all the post-elementary grades at one site.
Located off Highway 66 near Douglas Dam Road, the school will open this fall with grades 7-9, then add the high school grades over the next two to three years. A lot of planning and preparation is going into this project. Although there are no students yet, the school has a principal and a football coach to get ready for them this fall.
Greg Clark, who formerly was principal of Seymour High, will run this operation. Todd Loveday, who was AD at Sevier County High, will be the head football coach among other duties at Northview. Each man is working hard to be prepared for the kids headed their way in August.
Sevier County school system last added a high school in the 1990s whern Pigeon Forge opened. What Northview will do to even out enrollment in the local middle and high schools remains to be seen. Students who want to take a bus to the campus must live in a certain attendance zone, but any student anywhere in the county may attend any school they want, if they provide their own transportation. The hope is that Northview will have an enrollment of around 550 students this fall.
The hope is that Northview will be more than just a new campus and an attractive building. It also needs the pieces inside the building that make a good school a great school. Things like science labs, computer labs, exceptional teachers and a varied curriculum of electives as well as basic core classes.
Northview could be a cathedral to learning, if school officials do this right. They are off to a good start.