Local, state and federal officials attended the groundbreaking for Coulter Grove Intermediate School Friday. After years of planning, construction of the new school in Maryville officially began moving forward this week, thanks to a new funding mechanism authorized by the state legislature last year.
The attendees included Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett; Daniel Tangherlini, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Assistant Secretary for Management, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Performance Officer; and numerous other officials representing Maryville and Blount County.
Maryville City Schools purchased property and made plans to begin construction on the new school in the fall of 2008. However, the project was temporarily delayed when economic conditions made the bond market unfavorable.
The project got back on track after the Tennessee State School Bond Authority (TSSBA) approved an $18,720,000 loan to Maryville through the Qualified School Construction Bond program, a new category of tax credit bonds used to provide low-cost financing to local governments.
“This opportunity for Maryville is a credit to the state legislature recognizing and seizing upon an opportunity to create low-cost funding for this much needed project,” said Secretary Hargett, who serves on the TSSBA. “It took less than a year to go from the state legislature’s authorization to today’s groundbreaking celebration. It is refreshing to see government at all levels come together working for the most affordable option, and we owe taxpayers nothing less.”
“The road to economic recovery runs right through our state and local communities,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary Tangherlini. “Recovery Act school construction bonds provide communities access to the funds they need to build and upgrade schools. And by helping build schools, we're creating jobs today and preparing our kids to compete in the global economy in the future.”
The TSSBA has approved $177 million in loans for 25 projects across the state.
When completed, Coulter Grove Intermediate School will provide about 155,000 square feet of floor space and will serve students in grades four through six.