Hamilton Co. Commission rejects Ooltewah Press Box replacement

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OOLTEWAH, Tennessee (WDEF) – The Hamilton county commission today rejected the idea of spending money from the county’s line of credit, on a press box at Ooltewah High.

That subject came up after much discussion of a East Hamilton Middle school in that quickly developing area.

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News 12’s Ashley Henderson has the story.

Ootewah/Collegedale is one of the fastest growing areas of the county, and projected to produce 32% of the county’s growth over the next 10 years. The school district and county commission are trying to keep up with that demand for schools and facilities.
After earmarking 100 million in bond funds to be used for capitol needs for schools in Sept. 2017, some of those projects are finally getting started. Today, the commission voted unanimously to pay $42.4 million, to build East Hamilton Middle school.

COMMISSIONER TIM BOYD-“East Hamilton didn’t have athletic fields, and that’s when the commission, mayor, you may correct me if I’m wrong, we had a discussion and said, no further middle schools or high schools without athletic fields being fully funded.”

But it’s going to be a challenge to keep up.

COMMISSIONER WARREN MACKEY–“How much capacity do you see in the future, the needs of that neighborhood would be?

SMEDLEY : “We’re going to need another school very soon.”

Later, Commissioner Chester Bankston, a former school board member, made a motion to approve a resolution to spend $182,598 dollars to build a press box at Ooltewah High school. The motion died for lack of a second.

But Bankston wanted to add a warning for the record after the resolution failed.

COMMISSIONER CHESTER BANKSTON–“I know it’s unsafe, I’ve been in construction for forty-five years. . . my conscious is clear, so if somebody gets hurt up there, or God forbid if somebody gets killed because it’s unsafe, I hope y’all can live with it.”

That led to a discussion on the best way to add items like that to the budget.

MAYOR COPPINGER:–“I would suggest as the chair of this commission, any request that any commissioner may have, that it would come through you and then when you submit your budget… it gives us an opportunity to review that.”

In Downtown Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.