Opening fall of 2020? Cost of $36.5 million? Could there be a high school in the near future for Lakeland?
Dr. Ted Horrell, superintendent for the Lakeland School System (LSS) was asked six weeks ago to project costs on completing a high school adjacent to the newly opened Lakeland Middle Preparatory School.
His report tonight (11.9.17) at the BOC (Board of Commissioners) regular meeting indicated, if given the go ahead, construction on the campus could begin in 2018 with the high school opening in the fall of 2020.
The grand total for the project would be $36.5 million minus the $3.5 million savings on hand from the middle school completion this summer. The cost then becomes $33 million to add a high school and athletic fields to the now middle school campus.
The urgency on consideration of this project now is related to recent changes in federal legislation dealing with municipal debt, said Chris Patterson, city attorney. “If you are considering any capital projects in the next three to five years, it would be wise to consider options before the bill passes,” he said.
Mayor Wyatt Bunker said the City is serious on taking action for fire and parks and recreation — serious about everything considered in the Lakeland 2020 Strategic Plan. “If this is time sensitive, we need to know,” he said.
Jessica Millspaugh, finance director and city recorder, was asked to run some numbers and have them available for a special meeting next Thursday (11.16.17). Mr. Patterson suggested he also be allowed to bring back options next week if the City wants to build the school sooner than later.
When asked if additional monies for a high school would increase Lakeland taxes, Vice Mayor Josh Roman said the BOC is 100 percent against a tax increase for anything.
Dr. Horrell noted that construction costs have increased about five percent since LMPS was bid. The middle and high schools were once a package deal to be constructed together for $50 million. However, Lakeland citizens defeated a bond issue that would have allowed the City to borrow the money for the entire complex. A decision was made to finance just the middle school with capital improvement bonds for $20 million.
Vice Mayor Roman noted that having to finance the high school separately from the middle school will likely cost the City $5 million with the increase in construction costs.
In a series of slides, Dr. Horrell reviewed the site plan and made assumptions about the addition to the campus at 5020 Lions Crest Drive, just northeast of the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and Canada Road.
Lakeland 2020 Strategic Plan
The fourth in a series of planning meetings preceded the regular BOC meeting tonight. The topic was residential growth and infrastructure. Next week the final session will be education. Previous topics were economic development, fire services and parks and recreation.
Jim Atkinson, city manager, and Emily Harrell, city engineer, reviewed residential growth, where the City is now and where it is headed and infrastructure. Mr. Atkinson said pending developments are in central Lakeland, north of I-40 and south of the Loosahatchie River.
Much discussion was given to a planned street, Lakeland Trace, which is to run from Beverle Rivera Drive to Memphis Arlington Road as four new residential developments are built in that area.
Mayor Bunker said he thinks the conceptual plan for the road looks like a race track through residential areas. “It look like an arrow and it will become a heavily traveled race track,” he said. He also commented that New Canada Road should not have been put through a subdivision (Plantation Hills) and he feels for the residents there.
About Lakeland Trace, Mayor Bunker said the road needs more curvature for less noise, less roadway and less complaining. Mrs. Harrell said the plan is just conceptual and the road doesn’t have to be straight. “We can bring in a consultant to review the plan,” she said. However, she added that Lakeland Trace is actually “curvier” than Seed Tick Road which also goes from Beverle Rivera past Memphis Arlington Road.
Mayor Bunker suggested roundabouts in the populated areas of the proposed road.
Mr. Atkinson reviewed major road projects including New Canada Road, Lakeland Trace and Chambers Chapel Road. Mrs. Harrell talked about the clear creek interceptor, the 2017 pavement assessment, capital improvements for sanitary sewer and drainage.
Additional BOC business
- Jeremiah Vess, a senior at Arlington High School and Eagle Scout candidate, was recognized for his volunteer work this summer at Zadie Kuehl Park.
- The semi-annual Community Clean Up Day Nov. 6 worked very well in the new location near Fireworks City, said Mr. Atkinson. “Numbers were down slightly but that is testament to the new bulk waste system recently implemented by the City. Numbers for the collection are listed below:
April 2016 – 78 unloads April 2017 – 133 unloads
November 2016 – 98 unloads November 2017 – 69 unloads
Bulk Pick-Ups – year-to-date – 114 October pick-ups – 44
- The Athletic Park project goes to the Parks and Recreation Board next week and to the BOC in December.
- There were three applicants for City volunteer boards: Keith Acton and Adam Henry for the Economic Development Commission and Thomas Hammond for the Municipal Planning Commission. Announcements will be made at the special meeting next week.
- All resolutions and ordinances were approved with the exception of first reading on residential composition and changes to assembly uses in neighborhoods. Those were deferred.
Link to agenda: http://tn-lakeland.civicplus.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/714
Lakeland Beer Board
There was an application from Jagdish Gupta for issuance of an off premises beer permit at The Exxon station, 3548 Canada Road. The station had an existing beer permit but because of transfer of ownership of the property, a new permit had to be issued. The request was granted.
Mayor Bunker took the opportunity to tell Mr. Gupta the improvements made to the gas station look good but he would like to see the station spiffed up a bit in the future. “The Lake District behind you is going to be upscale and anything you could do would help us out,” he said.
… Photos by Jim Willis, Lakeland Currents. Link to photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/CpHL8WPsv7XKCXB82