UPDATE: Hamilton County school board approves building plan

UPDATE: Hamilton County school board approves building plan

October 19th, 2017 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

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UPDATE: The Hamilton County school board unanimously approved Superintendent Bryan Johnson's facility building plan. 

The plan addressed how to use the $100 million allocated by the county commission for school's capital needs.

Several Tyner Middle, Tyner Academy and Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts parents were present, and voiced concern to the school board about the proposal to merge both Tyner schools and move CSLA into a renovated Tyner Middle.

After the vote, parents gathered outside to discuss how they will move forward. Several parents said they would join forces by forming a group to support each other through the transition.

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PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County school board is expected to discuss the facility plan for the $100 million allocated for school capital projects by the Hamilton County Commission.

A vote on the issue is a possibility, some board members and Superintendent Bryan Johnson have said. Parents from some of the affected schools are also expected to be present at tonight's board meeting.

Board members said earlier this month that Johnson has been having conversations with each board member individually in an effort to understand how the district gained its long list of maintenance needs.

Though no official presentation has been made to the public, school board member Tiffanie Robinson confirmed earlier this month that each board member was shown a presentation with the ideas, featuring a price tag of $125 million.

Potential plans range from building new schools to creating magnet schools.

Some of the ideas being floated are:

-Tyner Middle School would be merged with Tyner High School to form Tyner Middle-High.

-The Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts would move into a renovated Tyner Middle School — a building that's more than 100 years old. The current 68-year-old CSLA building has a number of structural issues, with water damage, decay, mold and mice, parents have said.

-New East Hamilton Middle and Harrison Elementary schools would be built. Harrison Elementary, built 77 years ago, is nearly beyond repair, with sewage regularly backing up in the hallways and extensive water damage. East Hamilton Middle is not as old but is severely overcrowded.

-Howard Middle — now closed — would be renovated and reopened as a magnet school. It would take students from Clifton Hill and East Lake Elementary, which are overcrowded.

Robinson did not confirm whether those were the exact details of the plan, but said a lot of them sounded like what was included in the presentation.

This is a developing story. See complete report in Friday's Times Free Press.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

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This story was updated Oct. 19 at 7:35 p.m. with more information.