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WCMS new addition nears completion
wcms construction.jpg
The new front entrance for Warren County Middle School is expected to be completed later this month. - photo by Seth Wright

Construction at the Warren County Middle School looks to be finishing up on the new wing by the end of the month. Allen Hill of Upland Design told the School Board at the September School Board meeting, “You may have been by WCMS and seen the facade starting to come together. It’s really starting to look like a building after some prolonged construction activity.”

Hill also presented an updated font style to be used as the lettering over the entrance. The Middle School began construction on the new entrance in November of last year, and Hill says that they should be wrapping up construction in late October. 

“Most of the restroom renovations inside the building have been completed. There are some underway. We talked with Ms. (Alisa) Rice (WCMS principal) earlier today, and she seemed to be happy with the progress that the contractor was making.” The new wing includes administrative offices, an improved nurse’s office and will act as the new front entrance for WCMS. 

After Hill opened the floor for comments, board member Bill Zechman said, “This might be a good time for me to, I guess, apologize to everybody for my little meltdown over the lettering on that building. I am still carrying the scars and wounds of that architectural felony many years ago when they hung that lean-to shack in front of that building.”

Zechman then described the middle school as one of the “handsomest public buildings in Tennessee." He added, “I think this addition that we have, I guess what we call the ‘retro entrance’ for lack of a better term, restores a lot of dignity to that building. When I got to see the lettering, I think it’s perfect. It reflects the original lettering that used to be on the front of the building.”

Zechman continued to compliment the lettering on the school saying, “I should have had complete confidence in Allen and Upland Design to get the right lettering. I should have, but my anxiety got the best of me.” 

Hill responded by giving credit to Bo Howard of Upland Design. Zechman praised Howard and told him, “I don’t think it will escape any body's attention that this is a reflection of what used to be the facade of that building.” 

Hill brought up a new project idea to begin after construction of the new entrance is complete. “We also had an introductory meeting with the city to talk about parking lot redevelopment,” he said. He reiterated that the completion for the construction of the new wing is planned for late October, but the parking lot improvements are just in the planning process as of right now. 

“That’s very early. Again, we just had an introductory meeting with the city to see how they might look at some of our ideas, and that will be moving forward,” Hill continued. “But for the construction you see here, late October is the anticipated completion. There are still a few components that have not been delivered, so that’s a little dependent on timeline materials.” 

Director of Schools Grant Swallows added about the parking lot, “One of my biggest concerns has been this area of dumpsters and lots of other things, and we are working on some things there.” Swallows continued, “We’re going to be working with them (the city) over the course of the next few weeks about the sidewalks.” Crosswalk and storm drainage issues were also discussed with the city.