Rhea officials to break ground on new high school - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rhea officials break ground on new high school

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DAYTON, RHEA COUNTY (WRCB) – Rhea County leaders broke ground on a brand new high school, on the site of the current high school. 

The new school is needed because of overcrowding issues.  Rhea County High School is home to more than 1400 students, with portable classrooms and many teachers sharing space.   

The county's enrollment is increasing at a rate of 4-percent each year, and the middle schools at Rhea Central and Spring City are also jam-packed.

School Board chairman B. J. McCoy said the new construction will cost nearly $33 million, including a vocational building and furniture.  That price includes renovations of the current high school to transform it to a middle school.

Superintendent Jerry Levengood, who was once a principal of the high school, said the project had been in the works for years, and thanked citizens and elected officials who worked to make it a reality.

Teacher Emily Fisher, who is also a county commissioner, said it would usher in a new era of education for the county, helping relieve the overcrowding which forces teachers to share space.

Students are also excited.  Juniors Ashley Coker and Emily Matthews say they're happy that underclassmen will soon have a new high school without portable buildings "and getting run over in the hallways."

The new school should be ready to open by August 2013.  Construction on the new site is being done by Hewlett Spencer.


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