Commissioners approve a multi-million dollar bid for the new East Hamilton Middle School
Hamilton County Commissioners voted Wednesday to accept a multi-million dollar bid for the construction of the new East Hamilton Middle School.
The new school will be the first of two new schools to come from the tax increase in 2017 funding a $100 million dollar facilities plan.
Community members say this project is much needed. About 1,700 students attend the current middle-high school, and they are running out of space.
"I think that it was very well designed it appears they have a solid plan in place," said Cindy Lewis, a parent at East Hamilton.
The new facility will take about 800 students from the current space and house grades 6th through 8th.
County commissioners approved a bid $42,395,000 bid from Tri-Con, Inc. to build the new school.
This project is one of a long list facility improvements across the district.
Chairman Sabrena Smedley said to commissioners in Districts 7 and 9 where East Hamilton is located, is expected to grow by 32% over the next ten years and schools are at capacity.
Additionally, more families means more people on the roads and traffic concerns for some.
"Traffic is always a concern it's always a bear in our area and definitely the traffic one. Brainerd Road is a bit of a worry," Lewis said.
Right now, parents said pick up and drop off traffic stretches onto the main roads. However, school officials said in a July meeting they have a solution, aside from staggering school start times.
"We're going to put in a new road. We're going to separate our car riders from our bus riders and we're going to circle the traffic around the middle school and tie in the exit with Apison Elementary," said Justin Witt with Hamilton County Schools.
The new facility will also feature four athletic fields on campus. Commissioners praised the bid and project for staying under budget.
Tri-Con, Inc. was the low bidder. They've built multiple schools for Hamilton County including East Brainerd Elementary School and Soddy Elementary School.
District officials said they expect to break ground on the new school in late February or early March.