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.  


Cleveland Police Officer Charged In Case Involving Short-Lived Chief Is Arrested Again; TBI To Intervene

The Cleveland Police officer involved in a weekend incident in McMinn County that resulted in the demotion of brand-new Cleveland Police Chief Dennis Maddux has been arrested again. Bradley County Sheriff officials said Officer Jeffrey Griggs was taken into custody Tuesday evening for Violation of an Order of Protection issued after the McMinn County incident. Meanwhile, ... (click for more)

Corker To Hold Hearing On U.S. Strategy Against ISIS

Senator Bob Corker, will preside over a hearing titled, “The President's Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts” on  Wednesday, March 11.   The hearing will include testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)

Double Overtime Thriller: Central Boys Going To State

For all the folks who came to Chattanooga State Tuesday night for the Class AA sectional battle between Livingston Academy and Region 3-AA champ Central, they got their money's worth and more. And they even got some free basketball to boot. Needing a couple of overtimes, the Purple Pounders will be heading to Murfreesboro and MTSU's Murphy Center next week for the TSSAA State ... (click for more)

Blackman Blazes A Trail To State By Bashing Bradley, 55-35

(Story will be updated) MUFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Class AAA state champions are still alive and well. Blackman raced past outmanned Bradley Central, 55-35, Tuesday night in a Class AAA sectional victory that blazed a path right to the boys state tournament at nearby Middle Tennessee State University starting on March 11. The Blaze (24-5) will be making their fourth ... (click for more)