County Commission May Act As Soon As Next Wednesday On New Schools, Additions

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The County Commission may act as soon as next Wednesday on getting architects moving on new county schools and additions.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he will confer with individual commissioners prior to the next commission meeting to try to get a consensus on which of six school priority building programs should go forward now.

He did not give a specific figure on how much money is now available.

But he did say there is not enough to do all six projects at once.

He said there were "three projects that make sense" for now, but he did not identify which three. 

The six are:

- A new elementary school behind the Ganns-Middle Valley Elementary that would replace the old school as well as Falling Water Elementary

- An addition at Wolftever Elementary School

- A replacement for the K-8 Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts to make it K-12

- An addition to Nolan Elementary on Signal Mountain

- A new school at Sale Creek

- A new East Hamilton Middle School

Two commission members said they were caught by surprise by the move for quick action and will likely need more time.

Commissioner Tim Boyd said, "I want to know right now how much money we're talking about and which projects it will fund."

He said, "The last time we approved $50 million for four schools, but only two were built. Wolftever didn't get a dime of it. Where did the money go?"

Commissioner Joe Graham said, "We had no forewarning that we would be making a decision next week. Where's the fire? Where's the rush?"

He added, "For us to make a decision on stuff that we don't have paperwork on, that's an awful big decision. This is an awfully big decision to make with no background information."

However, Commissioner Marty Haynes said it was time to get moving on the new schools.

Several speakers hit the condition of Ganns-Middle Valley and other older schools.

Supt. Rick Smith, at the start of the session, made a presentation on the school building needs. He said the school board had voted 8-1 to go forward with that list.

He said the board did not set a priority on which of the six should go first.

Commission Chairman Fred Skillern said a tax increase was not in the picture, but he said the county was able to free up enough money, including from paying off and paying down bond issues, to start on one or two school projects a year.  


Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming city council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Grohn). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. CHA’S YOU Summer Leadership Program Presented by Kate Morgan, Chattanooga Housing Authority V. Ordinances – Final Reading: (None) VI. Ordinances – First Reading: (None) VII. Resolutions: ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Getting New Fire Equipment

The Soddy Daisy fire department will be getting some new equipment. At the commission meeting Thursday night bids were approved for the purchase and installation of emergency lights for the new squad trucks.   Another bid for $12,705 was approved to buy skid units, which are tanks and pumps for the trucks. These allow the firefighters to work off-road, such as for extinguishing ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)

Weather Prevails As Ridgeside, Red Bank Ends In A Draw

The Red Bank Gators and the Ridgeside Dolphins were supposed to swim each other for the second time in three days, but the overall winner was the weather man. The meet had not yet reached the midway point when lightning, thunder and heavy rain caused a delay with Ridgeside leading 165-156 following the medley relays. After a discussion with the respective pool reps, coaches ... (click for more)

TSWA Announces All-State Softball Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association has announced its all-state high school softball teams for 2015. Local selections include: AAA - Kayla Boseman (Fr), Ooltewah and Hallie Davis (Sr), Walker Valley; AA - Kaili Crawley (Fr) of Central; A - McKenna Morgan (Jr), Sale Creek; and, Division II-AA - Lauren Lewis (Sr), Kayla Hughes (Sr) and Cheyenne Lindsey (Fr) of Baylor.  ... (click for more)