The nearly half-mile stretch of school zone in front of Campbell County High School will be renamed thanks to 36th District Rep. Dennis Powers’ efforts in Nashville.
The portion of the road will be renamed the “Ken Bruce Memorial Highway,” in honor of the assistant principal who died during a 2005 school shooting.
“Ken was just a great guy and everybody that knew him liked him,” Powers said.
The move comes after more than a year of work. At first, Powers wanted to have the bridge named in Bruce’s memory, but it was already dedicated to J. Will Taylor. Instead, Powers opted to apply for naming the school zone.
“I came back this year and thought if we can’t name the bridge, maybe we can name the highway,” Powers said.
Jo Bruce, Ken Bruce’s widow, says her family was “jubilant” at the news on Monday morning.
“Dennis contacted me and asked if that would be something our family would want to have happen and I think it’s a marvelous thing for Ken’s parents to see and my children and grandchildren so we were very grateful to him,” she said.
Signs will be erected at each end of the school zone marking its new designation. Typically when stretches of highway are named for a person, the state funds the signs because the person was a soldier or police officer. Because of this, Powers will have to look elsewhere to fund placing the signs.
“I offered to pay for them myself and he said no, he wanted it to be a community effort,” Jo Bruce said.
Placing the signs will cost at least $300, Powers said, and he hopes to organize a fundraiser to gain the money. Any money raised above the $300 will go into the established scholarship fund in Bruce’s memory.
“Dennis deserves so much credit for that. We appreciate him,” Jo Bruce said.