To help ease overcrowing in Metro's schools, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's proposed $300 million capital spending plan would invest $100 million for education.
Monday, the mayor toured four schools in in southeast Davidson County that would be on the receiving end of the money for renovations and classroom additions.
Mayor Dean believes expansions are needed to rid Metro Schools of portable classrooms and other upgrades.
Officials at A.Z. Kelley Elementary School told Nashville's News 2 if they don't get additional classrooms, the school will combine two first grade classes.
That would mean forty students and two teachers sharing one classroom.
Fabian Bedne, Metro Councilman, District 31, said, “Having a school that functions, [with] classrooms inside the school, is one less problem and more time they have time to concentrate on what we hired them to do which is teach kids.”
The school, located on Pettus Road in Antioch, currently has four portable classrooms and the plan is to convert the area into a 10-classroom addition.
Parent Christa Leslie told Nashville's News 2, “When we have more portables, you can see that separates the kids from the rest of the kids in the building. They have to go outside to come in and use the bathroom, and they have to go outside to come to related arts.”
“Portables are never the ideal situation. It's warm inside, and the teachers are doing an incredible work under those circumstances, but the key thing is this is just a result of the city growing,” said Mayor Dean.
The award winning Henry Oliver Middle School band practices in a cramped space, and the chorus rehearses in a portable classroom.
Band Director Susan Waters said, “We would have no room, we would be able to fit one ensemble in there at a time which is great, but we would have no storage, no practice, no technology, no office, no library. So really we need an entirely new facility and these rooms could be repurposed.”
Mayor Karl dean's proposed spending plan would add $3.6 million worth of additions and improvements to the school, located on Nolensville Road in south Nashville.
Henry Oliver Middle School would gain a dozen new classrooms if the proposed spending plan passes.
Mayor Dean said, “The southeastern part of our county is the most rapidly growing part of our county. This is a relatively new school, but now it's overcrowded, because it's such a popular place to live and to raise a family.”
Eleven million dollars will also go towards Antioch Middle School on Blue Hole Road in Antioch and another $6.5 million to Norman Binkley Elementary School on West Longdale Drive in south Nashville.
Metro Council must pass a budget by June 30.