Surrounded by the city of Chattanooga, the small city of Red Bank lies on the north side of the Tennessee River and is home to about 11,600 residents and 350 small businesses, according to the town's website.
Its current mayor, Eddie Pierce, was born and raised in Red Bank, and that small-town feel is what's kept him there for the past 62 years.
"This is where I work. I bought a home here because I wanted to raise my kids here, and I had no reason to leave," he says. "I like it here."
Pierce says Red Bank's charm is its "bedroom community" feel. "This is where people sleep at night," he says.
The city, despite only being a mile-and-a-half wide and 6 miles long, has its fair share of parks.
"If you're over here in the evening, you see a lot of people walking," Pierce says. "You feel safe."
The website niche.com, based on data as well as personal reviews, gives the town a "B" overall rating.
Located within about 10 to 15 minutes from downtown Chattanooga and major interstates, including Interstates 24 and 75, Red Bank's appeal mostly centers around its proximity to the city and lower price tag than downtown and North Chattanooga.
"I feel very safe in the neighborhood I live, and I don't feel as if I am overpaying in rent," one resident had to say on niche.com.
The website gives the town an "A" rating for its outdoor activities and nightlife, though most of Hamilton County's nightlife scene is located in downtown Chattanooga. Red Bank ranks at a "B" for housing, jobs and cost of living, safety, diversity and weather. Its schools come in at a "C."
About 53 percent of residents own their homes, while 47 percent rent.
And Pierce says the town is on the up and up.
"There's a lot of renewing right now," he says, pointing to new construction and home renovations.
"It's always been a nice community, but it's definitely on the upswing."
Did you know?
The city wasn't always known as Red Bank. In the mid-1880s, it was known as Pleasant Hill. It had to undergo a name change when it got a federal post office in 1881 because there was already a town by that name in Tennessee, according to historical documents posted to Red Bank's website. The town also has a rich Civil War history, despite no battles having been fought in the area. Troops moved through Red Bank on several occasions from 1862 to 1863, the documents state.
BY THE NUMBERS
WHO WE ARE
Median household income: $37,640
Median age: 39.1
Native American: 0.3%
Two or more races: 1.6%
Source: 2017 American Community Survey
WHERE WE LIVE
Median home price: $168,500 in 2018; $170,000 in 2017
New listings: 5 in 2018; 10 in 2017
Closed sales: 5 in 2018; 8 in 2017
Source: Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors annual report
Alpine Crest Elementary School (K-5)
Proficiency (TVAAS): 2/5 overall, 2/5 in language arts, 3/5 in math, 3/5 in science
» Education here goes beyond the traditional classroom and curriculum. The school features an extensive outdoor classroom developed by a group of volunteers from the local Master Gardeners group. In addition to the trails, gardening plots, butterfly garden and other opportunities outside, students have the unique option to take violin lessons with instruments and weekly lessons provided at no cost.
Red Bank Elementary (preK-5)
Proficiency (TVAAS): 4/5 overall, 5/5 in language arts, 3/5 in math, 4/5 in science
» The first public forest kindergarten in Hamilton County, Red Bank Elementary's pilot program was so popular in the first year alone — twice as many families as anticipated were interested in the class — that a lottery was held to fill the 20 available slots. The school added an additional class in 2017-18 to help meet the demand. Students in the program spend half the day outside and half the day inside in order to meet state success standards. Educators at the school say the forest kindergarten students finished the first year on par with the regular kindergarten classes, and they've also noticed benefits like improved communication and problem solving.
Rivermont Elementary (preK-5)
Proficiency (TVAAS): 4/5 overall, 3/5 in language arts, 5/5 in math, 3/5 in science
» Thanks to a recent outpouring of community support, Rivermont has built new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs, updated classrooms and replaced its dated playground for students of all abilities.
Red Bank Middle
Proficiency (TVAAS): 1/5 overall, 1/5 in language arts, 1/5 in math, 1/5 in science
» Red Bank Middle — as well as Red Bank-zoned Rivermont Elementary — now offers open enrollment to those outside the school zone.
Red Bank High
Proficiency (TVAAS): 5/5 overall, 5/5 in language arts, 3/5 in math, 5/5 in science
Average ACT score: 18.4 composite
» Serving as a pilot for the rest of the county, Red Bank High houses the area's first "Community School," which offers after-school support for both students and local residents. Students may get extra help with school work while parents or other community members study to receive a state-issued high school equivalency credential, for example. The school connects with partners like the Helen Ross McNabb behavioral health center to provide an on-site counselor, and with the Latin-centered La Paz nonprofit to offer immigration information nights.
Source: 2018 State Report Card, HCDE, schools' website
*The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System scale runs from 1-5, with 1 denoting the least effective schools/districts and least amount of progress toward the Standard for Academic Growth.
WHAT WE DO FOR FUN
One of the oldest playgrounds in Red Bank, the all-wood Kids Korner was recently renovated with an engineered wood. The update also made the playground ADA-accessible. Moms note that the area is fenced and shaded. 3817 Redding Road.
Red Bank Pool
Open to all, the facility features covered picnic areas and a mushroom fountain in the kiddie pool. Though run by volunteers, the pool is fully staffed by certified lifeguards. Open from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, general admission is $4 for ages 3 and older and $3 for seniors over age 60. 3620 Tom Weathers Drive. Call 423-877-7004.
White Oak Recreation Park
The Chattanooga Moms blog lists this green space and playground as a hidden gem. Several large, covered picnic pavilions overlook the expansive field, and there's a small play area with swings, plastic slides and climbing apparatus. 798 Ben Miller Pkwy.
Red Bank Dog Park
Located adjacent to White Oak Park, the separately fenced areas for large and small dogs offer a popular place for dogs to play off-leash. 798 Ben Miller Pkwy.
Lookout Farmers Market
When: Mondays, late April through late October, from 4-7 p.m.
Where: Red Bank Park, 3800 Dayton Blvd. (Red Bank United Methodist Church)
For more than 40 years, Red Bank has hosted the MoonPie Festival and Jubilee Parade, featuring vendors, food, music and fun for the whole family every year in May. 2019's will be held on May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There's also an annual Christmas Parade & Festival in December, though a date had not yet been posted to the town's website as of press time.
The Red Bank City Commission meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6 p.m. at city hall, 3117 Dayton Blvd. Agendas, minutes and commissioners' contacts can be found at redbanktn.gov under the "Commissions" tab.
Recycling: A recycling drop-off center in connection with Hamilton County is located at 4857 Dayton Blvd. Most household items save for used motor oil are accepted Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.