$5 Million Committed to West Side Neighborhood Redevelopment

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Five Million Dollars are now committed to the project to revitalize Chattanooga’s West Side Neighborhood.

The project will begin with a renovation of the James A. Henry School, which will act as a catalyst and a centerpiece for the development.

“Eighty-two percent of the residents at College Hill Courts and Gateway Tower participated in the thinking around this plan,” said Betsy McCright, Interim Executive Director of the Chattanooga Housing Authority.

Currently, the school houses 60 seats for students in the Head Start program.

After the renovation, the school will be updated to include 100 Head Start Seats and a new health clinic.

“Forty more students will have the ability to be in the very successful Head Start Program, which, as we all know, works to make students in a much better position for success,” said US Representative Chuck Fleischmann.

On the Federal Level, Representative Fleischmann requested four million dollars for this project. He got three, which will now be combined with two million dollars from Hamilton County.

“We planted this three million dollar seed, and guess what — the county, with commissioner Mackey, put two million
dollars with it, and we are hopeful that the city of Chattanooga will put another three million with it. What that will mean is combined success for the people of West Side,” said Fleischmann.

The initiative also features the introduction of a Construction Career Center, which will provide students and residents with the skills to obtain well-paid jobs as the revitalization continues.

“And when they graduate from the school, we are… our metric for success is one hundred percent placement in a job, and we’re talking about a lucrative job with a career path for life,” said Leslie Gower, CEO of Contractors of East Tennessee.

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