East Brainerd Elementary School, which opened its new building in August, held a dedication program Thursday.  The school is located at the site of the old David Brainerd School on Goodwin Road.  

For the past several years, East Brainerd Elementary has been operating out of the David Brainerd property, as well as the original school, built in 1926 on East Brainerd Road.

The new $23 million school came in two million dollars under budget, according to former assistant superintendent Gary Waters. It has two stories,145,000 square feet, and is fully wireless, with geothermal heating and air.  There are also large outdoor play areas, which are in the final stages of completion.  The city of Chattanooga built a new roundabout on Goodwin Road to help with traffic.

The capacity of the new school is 1,100 students, and already has 974 enrolled, according to Principal Dr. Bryan Stewart.  The new facility is part of a continuing effort to keep up with population growth in the eastern part of the county. 

Waters says he's proud of his final project, the 30th school construction he oversaw during his long career with the county schools.  "I really like the solar system project in the lobby," he said.  "Principal Stewart says it is really drawing the interest of the students." Waters credited TWH Architects and Tri-Con Construction for the success of the project, coming in under budget and on schedule.

Waters was honored by the architectural firm with a large sign, naming the school "Gary Waters Swan Song Academy" for the day, commemorating Waters' final project during his school construction career.

Vance Travis of TWH Architects presented Stewart with a $1,000 check in appreciation of the principal's hard work and patience during the two-year construction period.  During that time, Stewart and other staffers commuted between the school's temporary locations.  Travis said the money was to be used for school improvements at the principal's discretion.