Hamilton County commissioners butt heads with the Department of Education over plans for the new East Brainerd Elementary School.
Commissioners voted down a proposal to hire an architect for the school. The main sticking point is a familiar one...the lack of a comprehensive school facilities plan.
Back in June commissioners decided to stop the new East Brainerd school project, and all future projects, until they receive a comprehensive facilities plan from school leaders.
Commissioner Jim Fields, "If we're going to vote on resolutions, maybe we ought to actually abide by the resolutions we vote on."
Commissioner Joe Graham raised another concern... about the sale of the current East Brainerd Elementary School site.
Gary Waters, School Facilities Director, "The revenue would be used for capital improvements for the school system. Joe Graham, "Where does the revenue go?
Waters, "If you're asking whether it will reside with the county or the dept of ed? Graham, "Yes." Waters, "I can't answer that question sir. That's probably a decision between the board and the commission."
Graham wants that decision made before moving forward...despite an appeal from Mayor Jim Coppinger.
Mayor Jim Coppinger, "Obviously the Dept of Ed owns the property. They're going to have us sell the property for them and then you can have the other debate if you would like, but I would ask that we move forward on the architect so we can get started on the preparation for this building."
In the end seven commissioners agreed to stick with their original vote...and wait for a comprehensive plan.
Commissioners Chester Bankston and Greg Beck voted to hire the architect.
The school board will consider whether to put both the current East Brainerd and Ooltewah Elementary school sites on the market Thursday.