NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This year’s capital spending plan for Music City has a budget of nearly half a billion dollars. That’s according to Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office.
A large chunk of it will go towards transportation and education. Nearly $200 million would be allocated to the latter if Metro City Council approves the plan.
Mayor Cooper wants to pump $191 million into Metro Nashville Public Schools. The funds would help repair old buildings, build new schools and replace things like HVAC systems – which are even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan also includes spending $100 million to build a new school, Hillwood High, in Bellevue. Mayor Cooper says this would serve thousands of students in Southwest Nashville.
“When you look at the new high school in Bellveue, that’s an area of 75,000 people without a high school. Where in Tennessee do you have 75,000 people without a high school? So it seems completely appropriate to have it there. It serves a wide area,” Mayor Cooper said.
Some of the money will also help build 24 new classrooms at Cane Ridge High School and phase 1 of a new Cane Ridge Middle School.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday, Metro Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle said, “As neighborhoods grow, it’s critical that we build new facilities from time to time to meet demand for a high-quality public education.”
Mayor Cooper says that will also be necessary in Southeast Nashville’s schools as occupancy levels were beginning to top 120 percent prior to virtual learning.
“We don’t want kids in portable classrooms; we need actual schools for them,” Mayor Cooper said.
Mayor Cooper says this multi-million dollar investment in Nashville’s public education system is just the first step of many.
“I don’t want people to think that it’s all done now. It’s a multi-year challenge to invest in our schools to get them to where we need them to be,” Cooper said.
Metro City Council will vote on the capital spending plan next month.
To read more about the CSP and what other projects it will fund, click here.