Hamilton County school board chooses superintendent search firm, discusses East Ridge facilities

School board members study information packets during their meeting Thursday, September 15, 2016 at the Hamilton County Department of Education.

After months of back and forth debate, the Hamilton County school board voted Thursday to approve a contract to hire a superintendent search firm.

The actual vote Thursday night was unanimous and came with hardly any discussion.

The school board will work with Coleman Lew and Associates Inc. to find the district's next leader, and the goal is to have someone filling the post by July 2017. Board members who previously voted to select this firm said they appreciated its aggressive recruitment strategy and the diverse pool of candidates it will likely provide, including some non-educators.

It's estimated the board will pay the firm about $60,000.

The board also voted to have its attorney, Scott Bennett, explore the possibility of giving East Ridge High School's aging athletic facilities to the city of East Ridge.