March 19th , 2013 11:44 am Leave a comment

From Range to long range

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Although the potential closing of Range Elementary has become a hot topic in Carter County, on Monday afternoon, the Carter County Board of Education discussed the possibility of eliminating all of its existing high schools.

Photo by Brandon HicksSchool Board Member Jerry McMahan discusses the benefits of consolidating the Carter County Schools district during the school board's workshop Monday afternoon. McMahan, who headed up the district's Long Range Planning Commission, conducted a yearlong study on reducing the number of schools.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
School Board Member Jerry McMahan discusses the benefits of consolidating the Carter County Schools district during the school board’s workshop Monday afternoon. McMahan, who headed up the district’s Long Range Planning Commission, conducted a yearlong study on reducing the number of schools.

Board members went over the idea of replacing those schools with a new, centrally located high school in the geographic center of the county, the Hampton/Gap Creek area.

“What this would do is require the county to fund the building of one high school for approximately 1,400 students,” said Director of Schools Kevin Ward. “Then, three of the high schools would be utilized as middle schools. That’s basically what this recommendation is.”

For more than 10 months, Carter County Schools’ Long Range Facilities Planning Team has been researching how to make best use of the system’s available — and future — finances.

Board Member Jerry McMahan, who serves as the team’s facilitator, said there were two primary objectives when conducting the research.

“The bottom line is we were looking at what is best for the students of Carter County to provide them the education they’re going to need for the future,” McMahan said. “Secondly, we were looking at costs for the taxpayers.”

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