Architects Invited To Make Pitch For 4 Major School Projects; Testerman Says "2 Men Behind A Closed Door" Should Not Make The Picks

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Architects as of Friday will be able to officially apply to be the designer of one of four major county school projects.

Justin Witt, who oversees county buildings, said a newspaper ad will invite proposals on a new Harrison Elementary School, a new East Hamilton Middle School, a Snow Hill Elementary expansion and remodeling Tyner Middle and Tyner High in a project that will accommodate the move of Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts.

Mr. Witt laid out the selection process, which he said ends with three names for each project designer being given to the county mayor and the school superintendent for a decision.

Board member David Testerman said, "I do not like the fact that we give three names to two men behind a closed door and let them decide. That looks like a questionable, behind-the-scenes deal."

He said the school board should make the selections at an open meeting, adding, "I think we should be as transparent as we possibly can."

Board member Tiffanie Robinson agreed, though she said she did not want to delay moving on the projects.

Joe Smith, another board member, also called for more transparency in the process.

Mr. Witt said a review committee would select five finalists based on their qualifications and the quality of their work. It will initially have a list of five contenders, who will be interviewed, then cut to three.

The panel includes a board member and commissioner from the district where the project is located, the schools maintenance director, the county public works director, the county engineer and a member of the public.

He said the County Commission and School Board would also be involved in the approval process so that 24 people in all were part of the review.

That procedure was put into place during a 2004 building program, he said.

Mr. Witt called it "a very structured, very thorough, very open process that ends up with some very competent architects."

He said choices should be made by January and contracts signed by February.

Harrison Elementary should have a one-year design and 14-month construction period, while East Hamilton will also take a year to design and have an 18-month build time.

The Snow Hill work should take seven months to design and a year to build.

Tyner will take a year to design and be built in phases.

Mr. Witt said the schools will carry out a renovation of Howard Middle School in-house.

 

 

 

 



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLISON, JEFFERY BERNARD  3401 CAMPBELL ST APT 1003 CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 51 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga BURGLARY DOMESTIC ASSAULT INTERFERENCE WITH EMERGENCY CALLS CRIMINAL TRESPASSING POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA --- ANDERSEN, ROBERT HARDY  5860 SW ... (click for more)

Judge Rejects Self-Defense Argument In Slaying Of Aaron Biddle

General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes on Tuesday rejected a defense argument of self-defense and bound a criminal homicide charge against 23-year-old Jadarius Knox to the Grand Jury. He remains under the same $750,000 bond. The judge said Knox had "snickered" several times during the testimony. Judge Starnes said at the time Knox shot 21-year-old Aaron Biddle in the head ... (click for more)

Never Replacing Claude Ramsey But Following His Example

When Claude made his decision not to seek reelection as the 26th District state representative I made my intention known to seek the office following him.  Immediately opponents from both parties began to qualify for that opportunity.  With Bill Bennett as my campaign manager and many of Claude’s supporters going door to door into the community, as Claude had done in his ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please ‘Connect The Dots’

Get your crayons out and let’s play “connect the dots.” Next Thursday (June 28 th ) the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, in partnership with Chattanooga’s publicly-flawed non-profit educational foundation, UnifiEd, will hold its regional meeting at Chattanooga’s Bessie Smith Hall. The coalition was formed to advocate for “students of color” in Tennessee, and among those on ... (click for more)

Fairyland Swimmers Upset Country Club

The Fairyland Flash had their best swim meet of the season at home Tuesday night when they beat the Country Club Wavemakers by a single point, handing the visitors their first loss of the season after four straight wins. Country Club had prevailed by a lopsided 466-322 margin just last Thursday, but the Flash was more than ready for the competition the second time around. ... (click for more)

The Ups-And-Downs Of Life In The Minor Leagues

Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive. Recently the Lookouts have lost T.J.White, one of the most popular players in recent years. Word has come ... (click for more)