Knox County agrees to waive operating costs during KCS’ initial lease of TVA East Tower

Top Stories

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Schools Superintendent Bob Thomas announced Tuesday that he and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs have come to an initial agreement that would waive all operating costs of a 15-year lease for the TVA East Tower.

Thomas said in a memo to school board members that waiving the operating costs assuaged his fears of what a move to the East Tower from the Andrew Johnson Building.

“Based on projected annual expenditures provided by the county, this would redirect approximately $15.8 million away from central office facility costs to student needs and educational initiatives,” Thomas said in the memo.

“Considering these latest developments and pending the completion of an agreeable (memorandum of understanding) … I support the relocation of central administration offices to the East Tower.”

MORE ONLINE: Mayor Jacobs optimistic about moving KCS central offices to TVA east tower, says vote on deal coming soon

RELATED: UT officials propose plan to move into TVA east tower

The memo goes on to say the initial lease could be extended beyond the initial lease. A county projection believes KCS could save $63.3 million over a 40-year period.

The savings come at a time when the school district is experiencing “critical service gaps,” according to Thomas. He suggested the savings could go to support programs that would combat substance-abuse, suicide ideation, trauma, anxiety and stress among Knox County students.

The deal could also consolidate KCS into the East Tower even more.

“Mayor Jacobs and I will continue to work together to explore options for centralizing school maintenance operations and to modernize warehouse processes through digitization of records,” Thomas said. “Such initiatives could potentially free up additional space, which in turn could allow for the sale of both the Knoxville Central Building and Fifth Avenue properties in the future.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter