Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith put several North Hamilton County schools at top of his priority list when making recommendations to the School Board’s facilities committee March 13.
“We’ve got a lot of physical needs in the buildings,” he said. “As a committee, we need to look at the important needs.”
The two top priorities in North Hamilton include replacing Ganns Middle Valley Elementary and adding to or replacing Sale Creek Middle/High School.
A facilities study completed in 1999 made a full assessment of the needs of the physical buildings of schools within the county and included a prioritized list of the needs of greatest importance.
“We didn’t know about Volkswagen in 1999,” pointed out School Board representative Rhonda Thurman as to why the priorities are being re-evaluated.
“We need to really think about Sale Creek,” said committee Chairman Mike Evatt. “You have a middle school sitting in portables, and we’re not proud of that.”
Thurman said the main obstacle to building a new Sale Creek school is the sewer system, as it would cost upwards of $1 million to connect.
The School Board has already purchased land for a new Ganns Middle Valley Elementary. Parents hosted board members at the current school to emphasize the need for new facilities March 12.
The board plans to combine the 101-year-old Falling Water Elementary, DuPont Elementary and Rivermont Elementary into the new Ganns Middle Valley Elementary.
Other priorities include additions to Wolftever Elementary in Collegedale and Nolan Elementary on Signal Mountain, as well as a new building for Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts and a new middle school in the fast-growing eastern portion of the county.
To read more in-depth coverage, visit www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/mar/14/smith-prioritizes-school-list/?local.
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