Coppinger Recommends Work Proceed On New Ganns-Middle Valley Elementary And Additions At Sale Creek, Nolan And Wolftever

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

County Mayor Jim Coppinger on Wednesday recommended that the county proceed with the construction of a new Ganns-Middle Valley Elementary School and as well as additions at Nolan Elementary, Sale Creek School and Wolftever Elementary.

A majority of County Commission members indicated they will move forward with the recommendations for the $48 million in projects, but several said they wanted to delay for a week.

The vote to hire architects for the four projects will be next Wednesday.

Also on the list, but not recommended at this time were the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts and a new East Hamilton Middle School.

Currently, all students at Sale Creek Middle School are in portable buildings. The new construction will add 14 classrooms to the existing school and provide a new cafeteria and gymnasium.

The Ganns-Middle Valley project will replace two of the oldest schools in the system - Falling Water Elementary and Ganns-Middle Valley Elementary. It is to be built behind the current Ganns school.

Officials said the new construction can be carried out without a property tax increase.

The commission earlier set aside a $90 million line of credit. Officials said about $70 million of that will go for schools.

Commission Chairman Fred Skillern said the new construction will eliminate 29 portable buildings and add space for 680 more students.

He said the county will be "getting ahead of the growth, at least in the elementary schools."

Commissioner Tim Boyd said he would favor doubling the amount of new funds for school building to $100 million.

He said, "We are never going to get to where we need to be unless we bite the bullet."   

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