HBPA tours Adrian Burnett Elementary School

Shannon CareyFeature, Halls

The Halls Business and Professional Association recently took an interest in conditions at Adrian Burnett Elementary School, a 40-year-old “temporary” Knox County school building beset with structural problems.

The building has attracted attention lately, and Knox County Commission candidate Justin Biggs even did a Facebook Live video outside Adrian Burnett on March 30. Halls BPA president Robert Hubbs and board member Darren Cardwell toured the school April 3, during school hours to see issues first-hand.

Robert Hubbs, Patti Bounds and Darren Cardwell chat near the intervention classroom located in a hallway at Adrian Burnett.

Principal Michelle Wolfenbarger, assistant principal Stephanie Prince, and school board chair Patti Bounds led the tour of the school, which does not have adequate storage, adequate restroom facilities, nor enough in-building classrooms for the 500-plus student population.

“Michelle has done a great job with trying to repurpose every bit of space,” said Bounds.

“It speaks volumes to see the conditions and actually walk through the school,” said Hubbs.

Cardwell, president of Hallsdale Powell Utility District, which serves the neighborhoods around Adrian Burnett, said that the quality of school facilities and quality growth “go hand in hand.”

“I think you’re seeing a little bit of that in that pocket,” he said.

Hubbs said the Halls BPA is planning to host a membership meeting at Adrian Burnett over the summer so the business community can understand conditions at the school.

A reading intervention classroom is located behind these partitions and is also open to the ABES library where classes are held.

Darren Cardwell and Michelle Wolfenbarger walk the route students take through open-floorplan classrooms at Adrian Burnett.

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