Rutherford County Schools are officially seeking to buy the undeveloped Blackman park property from the City of Murfreesboro even as developers’ plans for over 3,000 new homes plus apartments in the community are being followed.
The Board of Education held a special-called meeting Thursday, Dec. 19 to approve a motion to begin the process of vetting the site. The land is on Highway 96/Franklin Pike just over a mile from Veterans Parkway.
According to the motion, RCS will speak to the city about buying the land but not yet offer a price. The board is considering building a middle and high school there.
The property is land that the city bought in 2017, said Trey Lee, assistant superintendent for engineering and construction. The city has considered building a park for the Blackman community there.
Board member Lisa Moore questioned Lee about floodplains and whether they are designated as wetlands. Of 154 acres, about 30 are in a floodplain, he said, adding he does not know if they have a federal designation as wetlands.
Moore also questioned the rush for the process. The board toured the site on Saturday, Dec. 14 after a fast announcement, she said. The board held the special-called meeting on the 19th with two days’ notice the week before Christmas, she said.
Superintendent Bill Spurlock said the district has looked for school sites in that area for years because of overcrowding of Blackman and Rockvale Middle Schools. The district would have looked at the land two weeks before the tour happened, but a staff member had a personal emergency.
The board also discussed the rapid growth in the Blackman area. Lee said at least 1,000 homes are under construction nearby, plus 300-400 homes on Blackman Road are opening. Plus, there are two new apartment complexes at the intersection of Baker and Blackman Roads. The county government announced that another couple hundred houses would be built nearby in the county.
Also, about 2,000 homes are planned on land in Blackman owned by former Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess, the board said. Lee said that project is still under consideration by the city.