Smyrna school struggles with overcrowding - WKRN News 2

Smyrna school struggles with overcrowding

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SMYRNA, Tenn. -

Along with many schools across Middle Tennessee, John Colemon Elementary in Smyrna faces problems with overcrowding.

Originally opened in 1951, teachers at John Colemon use every space available for classrooms.

Seven students in English as a Second Language use a converted storage closet, while another ESL class meets right in the hallway in an area that is also used as janitorial storage.

John Colemon also uses portable classrooms to ease the overcrowding, but principal designee Melanie Richardson said there are still problems there as well.

"We have overcrowding in most of our portables. The portables are very old and they are in need of serious assistance," she told Nashville's News 2.

Teachers do their best to make repairs, but the portable classrooms are often plagued by leaky walls and ceilings when it rains.

Richardson added that they are unfortunately on the short list for building a new addition.

"We would love to have a new building, say, being started in the next two or three years and completion in a couple of years," she said.

The Rutherford County Board of Educations meets annually to approve their capital project plan which extends out five years.

Their spokesperson, James Evans, said that the board determines priority for the capital improvement projects based on high growth areas and where the schools are already overcrowded.

"John Colemon is not in that five year plan yet," Evans explained.

He said that the Smyrna elementary school has only grown by 10 students in the past year, which means that the teachers and students will most likely have to continue making due.

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