Knox County officials hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Gibbs Middle School Knox County Schools

Knox County officials hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Gibbs Middle School.

Knox County (Tenn.) district breaks ground for 2 middle schools

Agreement between county and school district cleared the way for building new campuses.

The Knox County (Tenn.) district is breaking ground today on two new middle schools.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the campuses will be built in the Gibbs and Hardin Valley communities.

The county is building the schools as part of a budget agreement approved in June 2015 between county and school district leaders. The Intragovernmental Memorandum of Understanding states that the county will build the Hardin Valley school at a cost not to exceed $34.5 million, and the Gibbs schools at a cost not to exceed $30 million.

The agreement also calls for both construction projects to use a design-build process. The planned capacity for the Hardin Valley campus is 1,200 students; the Gibbs school would have a capacity of 800 students. The schools are scheduled to open in 2018.

Plans to build the schools are moving ahead despite a federal investigation into allegations by the Knoxville chapter of the NAACP that construction of a new Gibbs Middle School could "re-segregate" schools.

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