Hamilton County Commission approves architecture firm to design new Tyner middle/high school

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Walkways across Tyner Road connect the academy and middle school building.

The Hamilton County Commission has unanimously approved MBI Companies as the architecture firm to design a new Tyner middle/high school.

Based out of Knoxville, MBI Companies has an office in Chattanooga and has designed schools for the Hamilton County school system and in the Tennessee Valley, including the recently-opened East Brainerd Elementary and East Hamilton Middle, according to slides included in the Board of Education's October agenda.

The firm included three options for how it could build the new school, with each including a different parking and athletic field arrangement. One option places a new building on the current track and football field, another places it on unused land next to the school and a third puts the building on fields near the Tyner-East Brainerd Youth and Family Development Center.

A timeline prepared by the firm projects construction to last from September 2022 through July 2024, with demolition of the current Tyner buildings to begin in July 2024, wrapping up ahead of an opening date in August 2024.

Tuesday's vote followed unanimous approval for the firm by the Hamilton County Board of Education at its October meeting and county commission approval of $90 million in bonds for school and public works projects, some of which will go to the Tyner project.

The estimated cost of the project is between $65 million and $70 million, interim deputy superintendent Justin Robertson told the commission in August, for which $25 million will come from the third round of federal coronavirus relief funds designated for facilities work in Hamilton County Schools.

Tyner students and community members called for improvements to the school in August, when the 400 building, which housed the Freshman Academy, closed due to water leaks in the roof.

Seniors at Tyner addressed the school board and county commission regarding the building's conditions, and a 2019 facilities report ranked Tyner Middle Academy and Tyner Academy as the second and third poorest-ranking schools in terms of building conditions.

The next step in the process is for the commission to approve a contract and design fee before design begins, according to the commission agenda.

Contact Anika Chaturvedi at achaturvedi@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.