Hamilton County school board approves stadium funding - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hamilton County school board approves stadium funding

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN -

A handful dilapidated Hamilton county high school stadiums will soon get a new life after the school board voted Thursday to fund the improvements.

The East Ridge high school stands, recently condemned, and demolished is one of seven slated for repairs.

The bulk of the money will go toward Tyner, Howard and East Ridge. While the teams are solid, their facilities on the other hand are starting to show cracks.

Cracks, holes, and uneven pavement are just some of the signs of aging at stadiums across Hamilton County.

School Board Member Rhonda Thurman said the conditions are unacceptable.

“Some of them are in pretty bad shape to the point where they are pretty dangerous,” Thurman said.

Talks of renovating the stadiums began last fall, but determining who would pick up the tab and how has caused delays.

“One lawsuit could cost us more than it would cost to fix them all. So we're gonna have to bite the bullet and fix the stadiums,” Thurman added.

Thursday night the board voted unanimously to designate $913,000 to making necessary repairs and remodeling existing structures.

The bleachers at Tyner and Howard were deemed unsafe by inspectors. Projects to raze the bleachers at those two stadiums will be included. Four of the seven schools slated for repairs only need minor improvements.

These schools will benefit:

  • East Ridge
  • Tyner
  • Howard
  • Ooltewah
  • Lookout Valley
  • Hixson
  • CSAS

Thurman explained that the funding for the project will not affect tax payers because the district plans to use money from existing undesignated dollars.

No matter where the money is coming from, East Ridge alumni are just relieved to know improvements are on the way.

East Ridge's stadium was condemned, and then leveled, leaving the class of 2015 to play elsewhere.

“My heart and soul is with that school it means a lot and I feel like they deserve that. I don’t want someone to be injured. I want sports to go on,” explained Alumna Susan Darby.

Each school will determine what repairs need to be made, while the district begins taking bids for the work.

It’s not clear when the East Ridge pioneers will take their home field again, but fans are ready.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates on these projects.

School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.

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