Work will now start on a new Ooltewah Elementary School after approval of the low bid by the County Commission on Thursday.
Gary Waters, who oversees county school buildings, said the school will be built to house 1,100 students.
He said the cost came in at $34 per square foot higher than the new East Ridge Elementary School.
Hickory Construction of Alcoa, Tn., bid $21,454,548. That includes having the school ready to open by Aug. 1, 2013.
If the work is not finished by then, the school will not open until the fall of 2014, and Hickory Construction will forfeit $545,000 of the bid amount.