BY THE NUMBERS
133,000: Square footage of Hixson Middle School
1938: Year the school was built
8: Number of acres the school sits on
Source: City of Chattanooga
The Chattanooga City Council has approved demolition of most of the old Hixson Middle School to make room for a community recreation center.
The vote was 8-1 at the council's Tuesday meeting, with Councilwoman Deborah Scott voting no.
The council gave permission for the city Parks and Recreation Department to enter into an agreement with Franklin & Associates to conduct demolition for $79,100.
Council Chairwoman Pam Ladd, who represents the area, said after the meeting the recreation center is needed within the community.
"We don't have a community meeting place," she said.
The Hamilton County Department of Education turned over the land last year to the city with plans already in place for a community recreation center and park on the property.
The 133,000-square-foot school was built in 1938 and sits on about eight acres. It was shuttered in March 2009 after students were moved to a brand-new school.
Larry Zehnder, parks and recreation director, said demolition should be finished by the winter.
"This will get the project started," he said.
The Parks and Recreation Department held a series of public meetings last year to get community input. Zehnder said the city decided it would save the school's gym, auditorium and a wing with about seven to 10 classrooms.
In other news, the council also unanimously approved entering into a contract with ISS Inc. to construct a rugby/soccer field at Montague Park.