Lower Grades at East Brainerd Elementary May Move to New Facility

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – 19 acres of property formerly owned by the Cigna corporation are being sold to Hamilton County for eight million dollars.

There is a facility on the the property that will be used as a new school, taking 750 students from East Brainerd Elementary, which is currently overcrowded.

“What you’re going to end up having happen in a unique set of circumstances is you’ll probably have younger elementary school students in the Cigna facility, older elementary school students directly across the street in the existing school.”

The deal was initiated under former Mayor Jim Coppinger, who helped develop a plan to finance renovations with the school system’s fund balance.

The proposal had one naysayer on the county commission, Dr. Warren Mackey, who believes that renovating this building will not solve the problem of needing to build another school.

“Day one, this school is going to be at capacity, which means we’re going to have that many more schools.”

County Mayor Weston Wamp agrees that the renovation is a less than ideal approach to making a new school, but he also believes the construction of a new school would be impractical.

“In East Brainerd, there’s very little land. It would be extremely expensive just to buy new land. In this situation, you’re able to buy land in an efficient way, taking away from a residential developer a portion of a bigger property they didn’t need. And it’s a structure we can pretty easily re-purpose into an elementary school.”

Categories: Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News