Oct 1 2017

As of 2010, according to the US Census Bureau, there are approximately 4,175 housing units in Alcoa, TN. The proposed Springbrook Farm mixed-use development at the old ALCOA West Plant could add 1,183 new housing units (980 multi-family units, 110 townhouse units, and 93 single family homes). That's an approximate 28% increase in housing units.

In 2016, before there was a projection on new housing units for the ALCOA West Plant, Alcoa Director of Schools Brian Bell said it will be hard to predict the growth for Alcoa City Schools. Alcoa Schools have reached an all-time enrollment high. Alcoa schools had 1,978 students in 2016. This month, Dr. Bell said he will be requesting "a long-range study of the capacity and enrollment of the intermediate school." It is possible the intermediate school could be "bursting at the seams" in 3-4 years. "Tuition students comprise 20 percent of enrollment" at City of Alcoa schools.

More recently, "the Alcoa school board voted Tuesday to delay spending half-a-million dollars to fix structural problems at the intermediate school and instead spend $300,000 to prepare plans for expanding that school, adding a track and soccer complex, and building a new football field house." The school board had voted to make these repairs in July. "I have a problem with not fixing the intermediate school," School Board Member Clayton Bledsoe said, raising the possibility that the structural engineer could determine the building has become unsafe." He also proposed "to fund only the design work for the intermediate school expansion and repairs and not the athletic projects," These projects have been delayed a year already, according to Bledsoe. He did not get a second on this proposal

When municipalities desire to grow planning should be a high priority. Sure, you build more housing and business to bring in more property taxes and sales tax. But, is the infrastructure ready? Bigger is not always better.

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