Metro tax hike would give schools needed upgrades - WSMV News 4

Metro tax hike would give schools needed upgrades

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After Mayor Karl Dean recently proposed raising property taxes, many Davidson County taxpayers wanted to know exactly where their dollars were going.

A lot of that money will go to repair crumbling classrooms and improve conditions some principals say are holding their students back.

Antioch Middle School Principal Canidra Henderson led reporters on a tour of her school Monday, and it was pretty easy to see, feel and even smell the numerous issues at the school, including machinery being held together with duct tape.

"We want to make sure we are not only providing an appealing environment for the students, but we want to make sure it's also safe and healthy for them to be in," Henderson said.

A lack of insulation on the windows has led to major moisture issues and a persistent mildew smell in the building. And the HVAC system seems to have two settings - off and freezing cold.

"There are some rooms, if you go in them right now, it's so cold because the temperature gauges are out of whack, and some that are extremely hot," Henderson said.

Henderson said she is excited and relieved to hear the school would receive $11 million for renovations if the Metro Council approves the property tax increase.

Antioch Middle would receive the second-costliest renovation in Metro Nashville Public Schools, behind Stratford High School's proposed $20 million.

Plus, other schools in south Nashville, including Norman Binkley Elementary School and Oliver Middle School, would receive millions to expand and keep up with the area's rapid growth. The overall cost for Metro Schools would be $100 million.

"This is the largest capital building plan our city has done for schools since the 1990s," Mayor Dean said.

Henderson said the renovations are long overdue and desperately needed, and she encourages skeptics to come see for themselves.

"Not a lot of attention has come our way, so it's really exciting for us," she said.

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