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Thank You School Board

Hear What Our 2018-2019 School Board Members Had To Say About Our New Middle School After the Groundbreaking

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Jill Harrison

“Will it be hard to say goodbye to a friend you’ve known for more than 50 years?  To wave as that friend disappears from view?  NOT THIS TIME!!  Hello new middle school – we eagerly await your arrival!  Our teachers and students can’t wait to enter your halls.  Our community anticipates the day your doors open to show off shiny new classrooms and technology labs!  SO START THOSE ENGINES – those dozers and graders – and let’s move some dirt!” Jill Harrison, School Board Chair

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Nelson Pyle

“The new middle school will facilitate a new learning environment for both students and staff. The reorganization of classrooms and educational space will allow our instructional leadership teams to revamp the delivery of our curriculum within a state-of-the-art facility that is conducive to the standards represented by best educational practices. The building will be functional serving small groups and large groups. It will function well for one-on-one or collaborative learning events. The configuration will add to the security of our children and allow educational resources to be more readily available to students. The middle school, even though it is not overly ornate, will bring great pride to our educational family and the Bristol community.” Nelson Pyle, School Board Vice-Chair

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Dave Welch

“The most rewarding part of the planning process for me is the way folks “light up” when they get to share their hopes and dreams for a new school. Part of this has been to experience the collaborative work of teachers, administrators, and city council members when we met with the architects several different times to create the “wish” list of needs and desires that would carry the school for the next 50 years. As a result of this work, the new school offers unparalleled opportunities for collaboration and community that students need and blossom in: from the multi-purpose rooms, large hallways, open cafeteria, and intentionally designed open spaces that foster wide open thinking, dreaming even. At the same time, this wide-openness is balanced with the best security we can afford today, to make sure student learning is secured and protected.  I hope that the new middle school will be a place of pride, a showcase for current best education practices, that continues to expand in the future with possibilities, and that the new middle school will be something Bristol, Tennessee, is proud of for years to come and people want to talk about and showcase just like the Stone Castle and the Bristol sign.” Dave Welch, School Board Secretary

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Jim Butcher

“The journey to our new middle school, to quote the Beatles, has been ‘a long and winding road.’ The quest for a new middle school has been a passion for this Board of Education. The responsibility of leadership for this endeavor has been challenging and fulfilling. Your school board was determined to be both fiscally responsible and visionary in its efforts to build a middle school that would serve the educational needs of our students for the foreseeable future as well as add capacity to our opportunities to better facilitate the needs of the community. Your school board is excited to begin breaking ground at the historic site of our current middle school and to beautify middle Bristol in the process. As a longtime patron of public schools and a former student of Vance Middle School, I am simply thrilled to be a part of providing a state-of-the-art middle school that facilitates the efforts of the Bristol City School System to graduate students who are ‘college and career ready.’ I would like to thank my fellow board members for their diligent and persistent work toward that end.” Jim Butcher, School Board Member

Photo of Derek Linkous
Derek Linkous

“I am so very excited about the new middle school. The school is going to provide the learning environment that our students, teachers, school administrators, and community dreamed of. I was very impressed with the level of thought that went into the development of the school and so very pleased that safety in the school was the top priority. I am a proud graduate of Vance Middle School, as well as my two older brothers, and I wish I had been able to attend a school with all the technological advances that are part of the new middle school’s design. Now as a parent, I am so thrilled that my children will be attending this state-of-the art school and at the same location I did all those years ago. Our students already receive such a high quality of education from our amazing teachers and this is going to enhance that even more. I would like to thank all the people that have been a part of this process, those who have poured their hearts and souls into planning the new school. I can assure all the parents and the community that you will not be disappointed. Our city will be home to an incredible teaching and learning environment that many communities only dream of.  I have such an amazing group of fellow school board members who have a tremendous passion for education. I am honored to serve on the school board and be a part of this experience. I can’t wait for our community to join our journey.” Derek Linkous, School Board Member


Facts About Bristol’s New Middle School  

Where will the school be located?
The new middle school will be located at the site of the current Vance Middle School.

What grades will it serve?
The middle school will serve grades 6, 7, and 8, which is approximately 900 students.

What will be the name of the new middle school?
The name of the new middle school has not been determined.

Where will the current students attend during construction?
Students will continue to attend classes in the current building until the new school is completed. Once students move into the new building, the old building will be torn down and parking for the new school will be added.

When will the new school be completed?
The new middle school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.

What is the timeline of the project?
Spring 2019-Demolition of houses behind existing school
Summer 2019-Beginning of sitework
Fall 2019-Spring 2020-Renovate existing gym
Fall 2019-Fall 2020-Build related arts wing
Fall 2019-Spring 2021-Build remaining structure
Summer 2021-Move into new school
Summer 2021-Tear down existing school and build parking lots
August 2021-Begin classes in new school

How will construction impact the surrounding traffic patterns?
During the course of construction, short-term closures of Columbia between College and Tremont may be required. The community will be given as much notice as possible if this is necessary.

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