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Irving College School will remain open
Meeting set to reassure local residents
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Those with questions about the future of Irving College School should attend a meeting at the school this Tuesday, March 11, at 6 p.m.
Director of Schools Bobby Cox has planned a meeting hoping to put to rest rumors concerning the future of the beloved school.
Cox said, “This will be an open meeting. I hope to cover educational issues at the school and answer any questions parents may have. I will also talk about building and renovation plans we have for the school. I just want to update the public and answer any questions they might have.”
Cox said the School Board discussed Irving College’s future during a recent retreat. He also said testing for septic and sewer is currently taking place at the school’s present site.
“There were never any plans to close Irving College School. We hoped to either renovate where the school sits, kind of like we did at Dibrell. If that wasn’t feasible, we would look for property to build a new school. Testing is being done at the current site for renovation at the same place they are now with hopes of doing renovation on site.”
In November, Cox told members of the county’s Education Committee that overcrowding issues at Bobby Ray Elementary may lead to building a new school between McMinnville and Irving College.
The proposed new school was thought to alleviate crowding at Bobby Ray and close Irving College, the school with the least enrollment in the county. Irving College School is located approximately eight miles south of McMinnville off Highway 56 and has around 200 students in an average year.
Cox said at that time, “In our strategic plan, we talked about Irving College and the gym out there and addressing it. We have had informal discussions, really nothing hard-core, about maybe trying to look at a building toward Irving College that may be closer to town, down the road, that we would maybe equal our numbers out a little more, even our elementary numbers out a little bit more.”
Many members of the close-knit Irving College community voiced disapproval of the possibility of the construction of a new school.
Irving College School is rich in history. The school was a college beginning in 1835 when the school was called Irving Academy. Irving Academy burned to the ground in 1844 following a debate. A new building was erected approximately one-half mile from the original school in the fall of 1844.
In 1845, the Tennessee General Assembly granted a charter for the incorporation of Irving College.
In 1925, the old buildings were torn down and the school was built on its present site, but fire again destroyed Irving College in 1928. After the fire of 1928, a brick structure was built on the site.
In 1969, the last senior class graduated from Irving College School with the consolidation of Warren County Schools. It then became a K-8 school.
The meeting concerning the future of Irving College School will be held at the school, 115 Dry Creek Road, McMinnville. The meeting is free and open to the public.