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lakelandmiddle.jpg Lakeland School System
Lakeland, Tenn., will build a high school wing at Lakeland Middle Preparatory School.

Lakeland, Tenn., gets $60 million federal loan to build high school

The loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enable the municipal district, which began operating in 2014, to offer a high school program for the first time.

The city of Lakeland, Tenn., has received a $60 million federal loan to build a high school of its own.

The city says in a news release that its application for a $60 million Community Facilities Loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been approved and will be used to pay for construction of a high school wing on the existing Lakeland Middle Preparatory School campus.

Since Lakeland began operating its own school system in 2014, students in grades 9 to 12 attend Arlington High School in Arlington, Tenn., through an inter-local agreement with the Arlington district.

Lakeland and Arlington had been part of the Shelby County district, but after the county system merged with the Memphis school district in 2013, six suburban communities, including Arlington and Lakeland, voted to withdraw from the merged district and establish their own municipal school systems.

The city of Lakeland says the construction plans call for expanding the footprint of the existing Lakeland Middle Preparatory School to serve students in grades 5 to 12 rather than building a separate new school.

“Our school board and community members have been pushing to provide a full K-12 education to our residents since the inception of our school system," says Lakeland school board chair Kevin Floyd. "We are very excited to begin the process of making that dream a reality.”

The project timeline on the loan application projects that the high school wing would begin serving students in August 2022.

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