The Hamilton County school board unexpectedly approved a new building plan last month. Wednesday morning, it was presented to the Hamilton County Commission.
Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson outlined a list of fourteen different projects to be completed during the next few years.
In September, commissioners approved the first property tax increase in over a decade. As a result, $100 million was allocated to the school district. Last month the school board outlined their plan, which includes renovations, mergers, and two new school buildings. The total price tag for the plan is about $125 million.
Major plans include a replacement building for Harrison Elementary School, a new East Hamilton Middle School, an addition at Snow Hill Elementary, and renovations at Howard Middle School. Also, Tyner Middle will merge with a renovated Tyner High School, allowing CSLA to move into the Tyner Middle School building where renovations will be made as well. Plans also include a new Howard High stadium and track, new Lookout Valley Elementary multipurpose room, a field house and tennis court renovation at Lookout Valley High, track improvements at Central High, Brainerd High, and Soddy Daisy High, HVAC replacement at Center for Creative Arts, a new elevator at Normal Park, and tennis court renovation and track improvement at Hixson High.
Dr. Johnson says the community's input helped solidify the plan, which will cost $125-million. By focusing on renovations rather than building new schools, he says the district will avoid a cost of $66 million.
Once approved, the school district will begin a search for an architect to design the new schools. Construction on some of the projects could start as soon as next month. No vote was taken at the commission meeting, commissioners had high praise for the plan and are expected to approve it next week.
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