New Rutherford County school on pace to open next fall

Photo: WKRN

SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – The first piece of an aggressive building plan is nearly complete in one of the area’s fastest growing school districts.

Rocky Fork Middle school opens in Smyrna later this year near Interstate 24 in Smyrna.

After 10 months of construction, crews are working on priming and painting, putting the ceiling grids in and finishing up the rough ends.

Project Manager Trey Lee says he hopes he can move the school’s new principal, Dr. Jimmy Sullivan, in by July. That means the school will have been built in just 10 months’ time.

The school is 160,000 square feet and will be filled with 700 students next fall. This will help relieve overcrowded classrooms in Rutherford County.

In 2005, there were more than 33,000 students in the Rutherford County School system. This year, there are nearly 44,000 students.

The walls inside the school are bare and plain now, but Dr. Sullivan’s vision is bright for the future students of Rocky Ford Middle School.

“This is a great chance to impact lives of our students to put them on a trajectory to not just succeed in life but to also be college and career ready,” he said. “Right now, I’m making sure that I’m selecting a staff that is going to allow us to achieve our goals and ultimately impact our students. It’s my number one priority.”

The school district is allowing students from Rock Springs Middle School, Smyrna Middle School, and Stewarts Creek Middle School who have been zoned to the new school to be grandfathered in so they can remain at their current school.

The application deadline to be grandfathered in is Tuesday, Feb. 28.