Hamilton County school board votes to fund stadiums, pay Kelly $160,000 annually

Rusted bleachers and chipped stairs cast shadows in the stands of the Howard High School stadium in Chattanooga
photo Seen on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, in East Ridge, Tenn., the demolished Raymond James Stadium at East Ridge High School is a pile of rubble. The stadium was condemned this summer.

The high school stadium drama is over. The Hamilton County Board of Education voted Thursday night to pay $913,600 to repair seven stadiums across the county.

The debate about crumbling stadiums began last fall when East Ridge High School's stadium was condemned. Soon after, it was announced that Tyner Academy and The Howard School also had bleachers needing to be razed, and four other high school stadiums required more minor repairs.

The board unanimously decided Thursday to use a part of its fund balance to pay for new bleachers at those three schools, and also repair stadiums at Hixson, Ooltewah, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and Lookout Valley high schools.