New Pope School project experiencing ‘growing pains’

JACKSON, Tenn. — Friday, the Madison County Commission held a meeting to discuss the new Pope School project.

New Pope School

According to Carl Alexander, the Chairman of the Property Committee for the County Commission, the new Pope School project is experiencing growing pains.

One of the concerns are the expenses of the new road work after the traffic study was completed.

“It’s to take care of some turn lanes and just to handle the added inflow of traffic that we know the school is going to cause,” Alexander said.

Another issue with the project is the lack of definitive budget from the developers and the school system.

New Pope School

“They couldn’t give us a specific figure, and so at that point, we’re just going to have to get a little bit closer to seeing what a specific figure is going to be. Otherwise, we can’t commit if we don’t know a cost,” Alexander said.

Alexander says that the project at this point will not increase any debt any further with the county because the appropriation to build the school was already done two budget years ago.

As for scheduling, Alexander says they are on target and completion could be in June of 2025.

“I hope everybody understands, we like to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and then also we’ve got to look at educating our kids. This Pope project is something that got put off for a long, long time. It’s needed. ,” Alexander said. “We’re wanting to move forward with it because we made the decision a couple years ago. We made the decision we wanted to build a school, and I think everyone is just looking forward to getting it done.”

Another thing of note about the meeting was the inclusion of city and school officials in the meeting.

County Commissioners were in agreeance that having the three entities in the room together was a welcome change and helped increase the synergy between them.

New Pope School

“At the end of the day, it’s about our children. It’s about educating our children and getting our children the best education we could possibly give, and that starts right here. And the taxpayers elect us to spend taxpayer money to be able to do this. So it doesn’t matter what entity it is, where it’s coming from, or anything like that. What matters is that we’re all in one room together to be able to discuss that and to move this project forward for the folks in District 9 and for those that are going to pope elementary,” said Commissioner Jeff Wall.

Stay with us as more information about the new Pope School comes forward in the future.

Jackson Mayor Scott Conger and the Jackson-Madison County Schools Superintendent Dr. Marlon King were both in attendance.

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