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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cocke School Board
The Cocke County School Board agreed Tuesday evening to develop a long range priorities list for needed school upgrades. Several years ago the board researched the possibility of separating the Cosby School into separate elementary and high schools. It currently is the only combined k-12 school in the system. School Board member John Johnson said he gets "hammered" every time he goes to a public function, by those who want to see an upgraded school. Johnson pointed out that during the school priority discussion several years ago the board agreed that the Cosby School should be a priority. He said the bathrooms and the gym are in poor condition and the gym roof continues to leak despite attempts to patch the problem areas. "We've been trying to make sure we are doing the right thing as far as budgeting money, and I know it is tough. But with everything else going on in the county, if we don't jump in and say we need money for our schools, we aren't going to get it." And he added, "I know we all have troubles but, until we get this thing rolling, and go in front of whoever we need to, as far as the CLB (legislative body) then nothing will get done." Fellow member Richard Coggins said basketball games must be stopped on occasion when it is raining, because of the leaking roof at the school. "The gym needs immediate attention," argued Coggins. Board member Otha Rolen called for the board to advertise for bids to put a new roof on the gym, saying to delay the project will mean additional damage to the school. Johnson also called for a new routing plan around the school because of the many vehicles and students, entering and exiting the school. "When we fix this, we need to fix it long-term," he told the board. Johnson suggested the board approach the CLB "to make this happen." The board agreed to meet with all of the school principals to conduct a needs assessment and then prepare a plan which can be submitted to the full county commission for funding.

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