Students, parents and faculty tour brand new Carter Elementary

Students, parents and faculty tour brand new Carter Elementary School

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Students break in the gym at the new Carter Elementary School. Students break in the gym at the new Carter Elementary School.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett unlocks the doors of the school. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett unlocks the doors of the school.
Third grader Zachary Wilhite said he was most excited for the gym. Third grader Zachary Wilhite said he was most excited for the gym.
Community members lined up ahead of the ceremony to get a first look at the new building. Community members lined up ahead of the ceremony to get a first look at the new building.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter 

STRAWBERRY PLAINS (WATE) - An East Knox County community finally got to see the elementary school they've been fighting for for years.

The developer of the new Carter Elementary School officially handed over the keys to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett Monday morning. 

"The people have been working on this thing for over twenty years," said Mayor Burchett. "They've been promised it that long anyway." 

With his signature on the check, that promise was finally realized and done so at no cost to taxpayers. 

"When the kids come in here the first day of school, it's going to be paid for," said Mayor Burchett. "We sold property and things we didn't need and that's what families do. They don't have the luxury of raising taxes." 

With the doors now unlocked, students, parents and faculty got their first look inside. 

Third grader Zachary Wilhite said he was most excited for the gym. 

"It's a lot bigger," said Zachary. "The balls won't hit the ceiling." 

Zachary is Heather Wilhite's second child to go through Carter and said she was humbled at the site of the new building. 

"I'm a teacher myself, so for them to come here and have such opportunities, it's going to be awesome," said Wilhite. 

Principal Shay Siler said the additional space not only provides for more opportunities in the gym, but throughout the entire school. 

"We continue towards improving everything we do on a daily basis and the excitement from this building will motivate us to do so," said Siler. 

The faculty will now spend the rest of the summer getting their classrooms ready for the students to walk through these doors for the first time at the beginning of the school year.

Mayor Burchett said this is the first brand new school built in East Knox County in at least 40 years.

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