Knox Co. School Board approves merger of Lonsdale Elementary, Sam E. Hill Community Center

The Knox County Board of Education approved a move of classrooms from Lonsdale Elementary School to Sam E. Hill Community Center.

The proposal would move five of the school’s Kindergarten classrooms to the community center. Special education and English language learner services would also be held at the community center.

“Something has to be done to get kids in a building with space,” said board member Gloria Deathridge. “You have an empty space at Sam E. Hill one block from Lonsdale.”

Teachers from the elementary school spoke to stop the split, saying the split is not needed, but a new school is.

“We are sick teachers and some teachers who have taught at Lonsdale for several years have been severely sick,” said Tiffany Holmes, a teacher at Lonsdale. “Others have respiratory and allergy issues. We have cockroach-lined hallways, flooding, mold, and mildew.”

Holmes said the school had been neglected by the school system, urging board members to consider a new school for that community.

Board member Tony Norman also addressed the issue of an inadequate learning environment.

“It’s totally unacceptable to have mold and mildew and cockroaches. That shouldn’t happen,” he said.

Board members decided to approve the spit because of this.

“We’re going to do everything we can to alleviate the situation,” said Deathridge. “We have to do something, and it’s not going to be something that’s happy for everybody.”

The split will continue through the 2019-20 school year.


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