The Hamilton County Commissioners on Wednesday approved TriCon Inc.’s bid for the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) at Lakeside project, which will cost around $30 million. Commissioner Tim Boyd noted he has long been a proponent of finding CSLA a new home, and thanked the commissioners for approving the bid.
“This $30 million is going to repurpose Lakeside Elementary to a K-12 magnet school,” Commissioner Boyd said.
“I’ve worked for over 10 years to get CSLA a new facility, since it’s one of the worst buildings in the county that we’re teaching kids out of.”
He added, “I just want to commend the board of education, and the architects, and the staff at CSLA for doing a fantastic job. We even talked about it in budget hearings how much a new K-12 building would cost. The numbers are 50, 60, 70 million. We’re going to get a great campus for half that money.”
Commissioner Boyd touted the resolution as an example of how the county can reuse older buildings, rather than spending more money to build new ones. During the end-of-meeting announcements, he thanked County Mayor Jim Coppinger as well.
"This is a great example of how we can repurpose those buildings and save the community money, while giving kids a great facility to go to school in. I thank everyone involved and look forward to the ribbon cutting on this one."
“I’d like to thank the mayor for bringing forward the bond resolution that the $30 million is coming out of,” Commissioner Boyd said, “and I’d like to thank the mayor for supporting CSLA throughout the years.”
Commission Vice Chairman Randy Fairbanks also congratulated Commissioner Boyd, saying “We know he’s championed this project for a new school for CSLA for years, and I congratulate him for sticking with it for years.”
The current Lakeside Academy was built in the mid-20th century.
Officials have previously said they would like to finish the project in 2022. It will include a new section as well as upgrading the current space.