The Cherokee County School Board has approved the construction bid to build the new Dean Rusk Middle School. The Board voted unanimously to accept the bid from general contractor Womack, Lewis and Smith Construction of $38.6 Million. The replacement building, which is scheduled to open in August 2016, is being funded by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue, as approved by Cherokee County voters.
The new campus is designed to accommodate 1,600 students and will be located on E. Cherokee Dr. The facility will provide the Hickory Flat area with a state-of-the-art middle school, comparable to the recently opened E.T. Booth Middle School and Teasley Middle school now in the final stages of construction, both of which were replacement campuses. The new facility for Rusk will allow the current campus to be repurposed and used to relieve overcrowding at adjacent Sequoyah High School on Hickory Rd.
Dean Rusk Middle School, which opened in 1986 at its present location, serves seventh and eighth grade students. It is named in honor of Dean Rusk who served as the United States Secretary of State for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and was born in Cherokee County.