NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — It’s taken Metro leaders, from school board to council members, almost ten years to finalize plans for a new Hillwood High School in Bellevue. 
 
Former school board member Amy Frogge remembers two years of community meetings and former District 22 Metro Councilmember Sheri Weiner says, “This has been something that has engaged the entire community. It involved Charlotte Park, it involved north Nashville because Bellevue is kind of a microcosm.”
 
But when they came together with Mayor Cooper and others involved in the project like Councilmembers Sharon Hurt and Dave Rosenberg on Wednesday, there’s real concern that the school might not get the $120,950,000 in funding that it’s currently listed for in the Capital Investment Budget for FY21.
 
Mayor Cooper saying it’s a problem with the language in the referendum.
 
“Should the referendum pass you’d have to have some special election to have a referendum on whether you could build a high school serving Bellevue,” says Cooper.
 
Since schools are built with bonds, there is language in the referendum related to the issuance of bonds. It says “All bonds issued or guaranteed after January 1, 2020, exceeding $15,000,000.00 for a specific project (excluding construction of educational classrooms, public libraries, public healthcare buildings, and police and fire stations, and Charter protected facilities) must be approved by voter referendum.”
 
The Mayor says, “if they meant schools they would have said schools. But they said classroom exemptions and classrooms are only 40% of a modern school.”
 
But Jim Roberts, the attorney spearheading the petition efforts says that’s just not true. He said in a statement, “School buildings are ancillary to the classrooms and covered by the exception. Education is a core function of government.”
 
The legality of the referendum is still up to the Chancery Court after the Davidson County Election Commission sent the referendum there.
 
Whether a vote would need to be taken on building a new high school or not is still yet to be seen. 
 
At this point, $20 million dollars has already been spent on it and Metro leaders say stopping the progress now will only cost more down the road.

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