Hamilton County Mayor Weston Wamp + Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson recently announced a plan to address facility issues within the school district. The plan and recommendations came from gathered insight based on a School Facilities Working Group the pair formed.
The report is broken down into two parts: a map of the vision for the first three years + a second phase for the next 4-7 years to maintain the goals and growth.
- TIF + PILOT funds | 100% of future tax dollars generated by TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) and PILOTs (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) will go to school infrastructure + a committee will be formed to prioritize where funds should go. Note: The committee members will be Mayor Wamp, Superintendent Dr. Robertson, chairs of the county commission and school board, and Hamilton County’s CFO.
- Reuse models | Maximize funding by using innovative and adaptive models — the task force advises renovating existing county-owned sites when feasible, developing public-private partnerships + community funding, and limiting use of public money.
- Athletics | Investing in upgrades with the help of local company partnerships (see: recent $2 million donation from U.S. Xpress).
The first three years will hope to tackle:
- Expanding Eastside and Eastlake Elementary + Thrasher Elementary
- Replacing Soddy-Daisy Middle School
- Reinvesting in Brainerd High School
- Renovating Gateway into a flagship campus featuring CTE, schools in Lookout Valley + the former Cigna campus into East Brainerd Elementary
- Creating an all-new elementary school in Hixson
The following 4-7 years will focus on expanding seats available in magnet schools, prioritizing efficiency, continued efforts for modernization + establishing a plan for growth.
- Gather community feedback on the report over the next two months (concerns, questions, ideas + input) — stay tuned for announcements on community meetings and other ways to submit feedback
- Release a funding plan in the upcoming fall to tackle the proposed goals in years 1-3
- Work collaboratively with the Hamilton County Commission + school board before the finalization of the plan and its funding
“45,000 students, from Soddy-Daisy to East Lake, are depending on us to provide school buildings that will enable them to grow and prosper from the classroom to the athletic field. Let’s be bold for them.” — Mayor Weston Wamp + Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson