Consulting group comes up with another option for Hamilton County Schools facility master plan

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ten.. (WDEF) – There is another version of a facilities master plan for the Hamilton County School system.

This newer “Option C” stems from community input meetings and an online survey.

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The plan includes 7 new buildings and closes 11 schools.

That’s less than what’s been presented in the past.

“Option C is the maximization of efficiencies and effectiveness, adds back a few more schools with 67 it cost 869 million dollars, the average school size at 869,” Dan Schmidt with MGT Consulting Group said.

The plan puts Brainerd High School in a new facility on the Dalewood Middle site.

Lookout Valley Elementary gets renovated and stays open.

Lookout Valley Middle/High school is renovated and Howard High students are rezoned to Lookout Valley.

The option was presented to school board members Monday night.

“Our job early March, here’s the report and then it’s to the board and the administration to decide what happens next after that,” Schmidt said.

MGT was hired by the district to come up with a plan.

“What we’re going to end up doing is the things that we can do and it will be the top priority things which is what we’ve always done. We should’ve done this in house like we’ve always done. We’ve never paid a consulting firm 500,000 dollars to come in and tell us what our facilities need. If the people we pay all this money to when central office don’t know that than they all ought to be fired,” School Board Member Rhonda Thurman said.

“They’re not just some company that come out of the blue. They’re experts in this field. We as board members are not experts in facilities. We have facilities people, but they’re not experts in all the suitability aspects of the building and so we really have to be mindful of that,” School Board Member Tucker McClendon said.

Schmidt said they’ll be gathering input on this newer version.

He said a final plan will be presented to school board members in March.

There will be another survey online.

Community meetings will be held on Jan. 28th at Tyner Academy at 6pm and Jan. 29th at Brown Middle at 6pm.