MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – There’s a buzz at Siegel Middle School in Murfreesboro.
Principal Kim Stoecker has watched the school grow over her nearly 20 years at the school. She says the student body numbers are steadily on the rise.
“Siegel Middle is, I would say a unique place. We have lots to offer for our students. One of the things we pride ourselves on is that there’s something here for everyone,” she explained. “We have adapted in our building, in using all available space. We do have some portable classrooms as well, but we’ve been able to adapt with that growth.”
The growth of Murfreesboro has steadily spilled into schools for more than a decade now, according to Rutherford County Schools Spokesperson James Evans.
“To give you some perspective, 15 years ago we had 29,000 students,” he said. “Now we’re approaching 48,000. So we have grown just by leaps and bounds over that time.”
Unprecedented growth at a rapid rate.
Evans tells News 2 the district has seen nearly 1,000 new faces countywide in seven of the last eight years.
“Which is about a school a year when you look at how much a school holds,” he said. “The problem with that though is it doesn’t just happen in one area. It’s spread out across the county.”
They’ve met this growth with a number of solutions. These include finding more classroom space in existing buildings and expanding into new schools when necessary.
Two new schools, Rockvale High and Rocky Fork Elementary, opened their doors this year.
“It takes a lot of people understanding that we’re investing in the future by investing in education,” said Evans. “We’ve got a lot of people who buy into that.”
A lot of people are also buying into safety. A new ‘buzz in’ system at Siegel Middle, installed last year, is just one example of new security measures in place.
“It’s been I think a great addition to our school,” said Stoecker. “Adds another level of safety for our students, staff, and families.”
With close to 60 schools across the county and more on the way, change is inevitable.
The staff says they’re ready for wherever Murfreesboro may be headed.
“We’ll continue to adapt, and make the changes we need to make sure we’re meeting the needs of all of our students,” said Stoecker.
News 2 has special reports on “Murfreesboro: The Good, The Bad, The Future” on Thursday. We’re digging deeper into the impact of the area’s growth and how it is shaping future businesses, traffic, schools, and crime. See our special reports in every newscast and watch our live town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more.