How About Some Liquor Tax Money For Central?

Sunday, September 1, 2013
Are there any funds in this liquor-by-the-drink "windfall" going to our schools to finish Central High School?  

The school was supposed to be built with a proper auditorium, band room and choir room 40 plus years ago

Just wondering.

Here's a column by Ray Walker, executive editor of the Central Digest: 

After 44 Years, Time To Finish Building Central

When Central High moved from downtown to its present location on State Highway 58, it was the best and nicest school in Hamilton County. At the time, newspaper articles marveled the new facility and its circular shape with spacious glass windows around the main hallway. The gym and JROTC areas were top-notch and the science labs and cafeteria were top-of-the line. But with all of the modern perks of the “new” Central, the school was never actually finished. A presumed lack of funding by the county led to a huge piece of Central missing. Central’s layout is different compared to most schools. In the center of the school is the library and offices with a cafeteria located on one side of the central “pod,” and branching off of that are different “pods” where the classrooms are located. 

The gym, which is separated from the main building, also houses the band room and choir room, along with a few additional classrooms and the JROTC program in the basement. This is not, however, how the school’s layout was originally designed in 1969. The main building was finished correctly, as was the gym, but noticeably missing from the “finished” building was the intended auditorium. A major part of any high school is an auditorium where the school can hold school assemblies, concerts, drama performances and even talent shows. 

Central was supposed to have all this and more, but the “home” of these events was never built. The school still conducts all these events such as  concerts and special events, but we currently lack the proper facility for every event. Just last year, our drama club had to perform some wonderful, well-thought out student written plays in the library. Even worse, the band and choir have to perform in the gym, where audiences have to sit in uncomfortable plastic gym chairs. Even some of Central’s most honored and tradition-rich assemblies like Senior Day and the presentation of homecoming court are being held in a hot, stuffy gym. The missing pod is supposed to house an area designed for assemblies and music concerts with a full stage and auditorium seating. The backstage is where the special soundproof band and choir rooms are meant to be, not beside the gym.  

Currently, students in gym have to listen to the wonderful, yet sometimes distracting, sound of the band playing. It also puts a harder job on our already stressed guidance counselors because they can’t schedule band and choir in the same block. Currently, students have to cram, shoulder-to-shoulder into a gym that’s originally designed only for physical education classes and basketball games, not to listen to a speaker from college, or hear students perform at the talent show. This shouldn’t be the case when we have schools within our same district just a few miles away where there are some constantly scarcely-full buildings and almost empty hallways. 

Central students are being unjustly ignored while other schools in the county get brand new facilities. We do not begrudge the students at Ooltewah Elementary or Red Bank Middle School which opened brand new schools this year. We just want the county to finish what it was obligated to build back in 1969. People need to understand that a school without an auditorium is like reading a book with a missing chapter. We deserve much, much better, yet it still seems like we’re always that last kid picked for dodge ball. This was proven last year when it took constant harassment from parents and students to get a leaky roof fixed —  and that was after seven years of leaking ceilings and mold infestations throughout the school! Without the help of students and parents, we will continue to be overlooked, and we will never get the auditorium we were promised. 

Current students, alumni, faculty, and everyone in our community need to make a stand for the school that we are proud of and fight for the right thing to be done. Central is still a great school. It isn’t uninhabitable and our facilities aren’t unbearable. All we ask for is what was promised to us that we never received all those years ago. 

Mike Green


Traffic Light Needed On Hamill Road

Will the city of Chattanooga please do something about the massive traffic on Hamill Road from Highway 153 to Big Ridge? Trying to make a left turn from Crescent Club Drive from the side with no outlet is at times almost impossible, especially if several cars are waiting from Crescent Club. A traffic light or something is needed before some is hurt or killed at this intersection. ... (click for more)

Changing The Trajectory

We recognize the challenges that public schools face as well as the need for continued improvement. Our members are dedicated to reaching the goal of every child achieving at his or her highest potential. Every child in our country, no matter their socio-economic status, should have the right to receive a quality education.  Education must put children on a path to achieve ... (click for more)

Man Found With Home-Made Explosive Device Near Businesses In Hixson

A man was found with a home-made explosive device outside businesses in Hixson late Tuesday night.   A business was evacuated and portions of Highway 153 and Hamill Road were cordoned off while the device was taken away.   Joshua Redden, 34, was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession ... (click for more)

Man Shot In Home Invasion Early Wednesday Morning

A man was shot in a home invasion early Wednesday morning.   Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot on the 6000 block of Arlena Circle at 4:40 a.m. Upon arrival, police located the victim, Edward Greatheart, 41,  who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Mr. Greatheart was treated on the scene and transported to a local hospital ... (click for more)

State Baseball Roundup: Blue Tornado Win 5-1, Get Shot At DII-2A Title

LEBANON, Tenn. – McCallie right-hander Jackson Mathis saved his very best performance for his swan song. Mathis, a senior who has decided not to pursue an extension of his baseball career while attending Auburn University, threw a four-hitter at Briarcrest on Wednesday night and led the Blue Tornado to a 5-1 win and into the TSSAA Division II-AA state championship game. ... (click for more)

Baylor Gets Offensive In Softball Win Over St. Benedict

MURFREESBORO – The two-time Division II defending state softball champion Baylor looks ready to challenge for another title. The Lady Red Raiders spotted St. Benedict an unearned run in the first inning, but came back strong to prevail by a 12-1 final in six innings. Wednesday’s win, Baylor’s 25 th against three losses, sets up a winners bracket final with arch-rival GPS, ... (click for more)