What’s Right With Our Schools: Grundy Center

TRACY CITY, TN (WDEF) –  For 60 years the old Grundy County High School educated students in and around Tracy City. It closed 25 years ago. Now, that beautiful old building is enjoying a remarkable second act.

Emily Partin is the Program Coordinator for the Catholic Charities Family Resource Center.

She says, “It’s 1936 or 37 . It was built and opened up in the community and served this community for about 60 years. It closed in 1997, when the county decided to build a larger school. The school closed, sat vacant up until last year. About the last 10 years we’ve been raising funding to open the building back up, but as you can imagine, it was needed quite a bit of renovation, and that entailed quite a bit of money. It’s been a long journey. But the vision for it was to be a one-stop family resource center.”

Emily Ricks in the After School Program Manager.

She explains, “We create a safe and welcoming environment for students from all over Grundy County, where they can choose to learn whatever it is that they’re interested in learning, and whether they need tutoring help, or they want to learn a chord on an instrument. Our chief philosophy is student agency and student choice in their learning process.”

Senior graduate Adriel Ephram is seeing the benefits first hand.

He says, “It’s so helpful. I take, I took the ACT twice already, and I got a really bad grade, just because,  for a while, I was sort of just reading out of a textbook and not really learning much. I came here and within weeks it completely changed my performance. I bumped up my score by eight points.”


Emily Partin concludes, “And it’s been a great success. We have two to three tutors that stay here three days a week for the kids. And as you’ve seen, we have, you know kids coming from all walks of life and different ages. We’ve met our original vision just in this one floor. These are large classrooms. We’ve divided them into offices. We have a American Job Center here. We have a fully functioning mental health center, Volunteer Behavioral Health. We have the Catholic Charities office here, a tutoring center for after school programming, and the Grundy Safe Communities Coalition Anti-drug Prevention. That’s just on the first floor. We’re going to finish renovating the second floor and hope to have Chattanooga State begin to do college courses so that our children don’t have to go off the mountain to get those basic community college requirements. So we’re real excited about taking an old building, and turning it into something new for the community.”



Categories: Education, Grundy County, Local News, What’s Right With Our Schools