Mayor Wamp excited for proposed new Tyner Academy

Mayor's Office says school would serve 1,400 students in Grades 6-12

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — A brand-new 96-million-dollar Tyner Academy may be on the way.

The Hamilton County Commission will vote on the project next week.

To say the mayor is excited about this project is a vast understatement.

If approved, he says the new Tyner Academy will set an “all-new bar and standard in public education,” as well as give its community a facility that physically embodies its passionate spirit.

On the grounds of its championship football field, the new Tyner Academy would be built, combining both the middle and high schools into a new, modern facility.

Wamp says it would be an academy “oriented toward career training,” providing students with numerous “technical vocational options.”

“The timing’s great because it’s been a long time since the county’s built a new high school — go back to 2008, 2009 when East Hamilton was built,” Wamp said. “The new facility both from a facility standpoint, structural standpoint and also from a programmatic standpoint — I think it’s got an opportunity to be everything we want the future of the school system to be.”

When asked about the student walkout over its building conditions last August, the mayor says “it’s not a facility we’re proud of.”

What he is proud of is Tyner’s community, and he wants to see their new school set a high mark — something he says they’ve done despite their conditions.

“They’ve not let a facility that’s got a whole lot of different issues that have worsened over the years get in the way of excellence on a whole lot of different fronts,” Wamp said. “Facilities aren’t great but also I think we’re right on the cusp of being able to give students and families, teachers a timeline for the new Tyner Academy.”

In a press release from the mayor’s office, Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Doctor Justin Robertson says “all students deserve quality learning environments” and is hopeful for the commission to approve the project.

Wamp says despite costs being higher than desired, it is important to “honor the commitment” made to the Tyner community.

“It’s symbolically important for the future of the entire school system that when we say we’re going to do something, where there’s a need, we meet it,” Wamp said. “It was my conclusion that we ought not come up short at all on the commitment that was made to Tyner kids and their families and the educators who work there.”

According to the mayor’s office, the bid on the project was approximately 17 million dollars higher than previously projected.

But he says the county “has the money” to make up the gap thanks to bonds from 2020 and 2021.

Wamp says he’s also reached out to Volkswagen to invest in the school system.

He wants to start construction “as soon as possible.”

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