$125 Million County School Building Plan Includes Shifting CSLA To Tyner Middle; Combining Tyner High/Middle; New Harrison Elementary, New East Hamilton Middle

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hamilton County School officials on Thursday unveiled a $125 million building plan that includes moving the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts to the current Tyner Middle School, which will undergo a major renovation.

Tyner Middle will move across the street into Tyner High School. Both Tyner buildings have been under-utilized for a number of years.

There will also be a new Harrison Elementary School and a new East Hamilton Middle School.

Howard Middle School will be renovated, and there will be an addition at Snow Hill Elementary.

Much of the funding will come from the $100 million tax increase voted by the County Commission, and the schools will dip into fund balance.

CSLA, which is in a dilapidated building on East Brainerd Road, will become a K-12 school.

CSLA is set to open at the new site in August 2021.

The Snow Hill and Howard projects are set to be ready by August 2019.

Slated for 2020 openings are the new Harrison Elementary and East Hamilton Middle School and the merging of Tyner High and Middle.

New Supt. Bryan Johnson said, "We'll have a great liberal arts magnet school on one side of the street and a great math and science magnet school on the other."

Dr. Lee McDade said the County Commission "has been hammering for a decade about under-utilized buildings." He said when he went to Tyner that the school had 1,350 at the junior high and 1,400 at the high school, but there has been a sharp decline.

Sections of Tyner Middle will be torn away and there will be a new elementlary section built for CSLA.

Officials said both schools will get complete makeovers. Drawings of what they will look like were shown to the school board.

There will be community meetings at the affected schools.

Supt. Johnson said the schools will develop a 7-10-year plan to deal with remaining deferred maintenance issues. He said closing CSLA and fixing the two Tyner Schools would go a long way toward cutting the deferred maintenance level of some $360 million.

A deferred maintenance consultant will be  brought in.

Supt. Johnson said school zone lines need to be tightened up. He said students should have "a clear oath" on where they will be going to middle school and high school after elementary.

He said the plan was drawn up based on a school board priority list last February and input from a community survey and a task force created by County Mayor Jim Coppinger.

The changes will increase average student enrollment in buildings from 554 to 600.

Prices for the new construction are calculated at $200 per square foot. 

The plan also includes a Lookout Valley multi-purpose room, an HVAC system at Center for the Creative Arts, an elevator at Normal Park School and improved athletic facilities.

There will be a 25 percent reduction in portable classroom buildings.

East Hamilton Middle will be built for 1,200 students and Harrison for 750 with expansion space prepped.

The layout for the new CSLA shows a new elementary section at the front right and the high school at the rear. There will be an elementary and middle school gym at the front left behind a parking section. The middle school is shown in the middle in an existing building. Toward the rear in front of the high school will be a music area and cafeteria. 

For the new Tyner High/Middle, the middle school is shown to the left of the existing high school to the right of the existing auditorium. The existing high school remains on the right. 

Home Damaged By Fire Monday Night

A home was damaged by fire Monday  night. Around  9 p.m. , the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire at  5592 Ginkgo Road . The first unit arrived on the scene advising a kitchen fire. The occupants were out of the house. No injuries were reported, but Hamilton County EMS was on the scene for any potential injuries to ... (click for more)

Senator David Perdue Discusses Trade, Funding And National Security On Bloomberg TV

Senator David Perdue joined David Westin and Shery Ahn on Bloomberg TV live from the White House to discuss trade, government funding, the debt crisis, and the critical role U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plays in our national security. Senator Perdue also joined Shannon Bream on Fox News @ Night to discuss the role U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ... (click for more)

Thank You For Cleaning Up Brown's Tavern

Thank you to whomever is responsible for the massive clean-up project that began yesterday at Brown's Tavern in Lookout Valley.  It already looks 1,000 percent better. Ricky and T.J. Hendricks Smith  (click for more)

Roy Exum: One Person Every Hour

After the first weekend in August, the United States was shaken to its core as every major media outlet reported that 67 people had been shot in Chicago, 12 of them dead in the senseless carnage. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded for calm and announced an additional 600 police officers would join other law enforcement in the five most troubled districts. This past weekend, which ... (click for more)

GPS Rallies To Clip CCS In Volleyball

There’s nothing quite like the jitters and general nervousness that goes along with playing in front of the home crowd for the first time. Add to that the pressure of making a good impression on a new coach and you can see what the GPS volleyball team was going through Monday evening. Despite all the outside factors and the fact GPS was facing undefeated Chattanooga Christians, ... (click for more)

Baylor's Coach Jenny Smith Finishes North Channel Ultra Distance Swim

On Monday, Baylor Swim Club Tri-Masters Coach Jenny Smith finished the North Channel Swim in 13 hours and 6 minutes.  The open water ultra-distance swim began in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland and finished in Portpatrick, Scotland on the Mull of Galloway, which is about 21.5 miles long.  The North Channel swim is approximately the same distance as the English Channel, but ... (click for more)