A crowd of county and state officials gathered recently at the campus of the new Union Grove elementary and middle schools to dedicate the facilities.
“We’re here today to dedicate these two schools the students of the area,” said Alvin Hord, director of Blount County Schools. “We are very excited by the opportunity these schools provide for the kids of our area.”
Outgoing board chairman Dr. Don McNelly recognized those who helped plan the two structures. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank the architects Cochrell and Fletcher and Joseph Construction,” he said.
Incoming board chairman Chris Cantrell recognized McNelly and former chair Mike Treadway for their efforts in getting the schools built. “I want to thank you two gentlemen for your leadership,” he said.
Assistant County Mayor Dave Bennett said building schools is a top priority for county government. “As a local government, education is our No. 1 priority. We put lots of money into bricks and mortar,” he said. “We’re giving teachers the assets they need to teach these children.”
Bennett said County commissioner Gerald Kirby helped save the school board $300,000 in sewer costs. Following the dedication, Joseph Construction presented Hord with a check for $200,000. Joseph Construction president E. Gerry Eastman said it came from savings they found during construction.
Project manager George Fulton they found the savings in the efficient use of manpower and through subcontractors.