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Combined middle/high school under construction in Chattanooga, Tenn.

March 1, 2023
The Hamilton County district has broken ground on Tyler Middle High Academy,

The Hamilton County (Tenn.) district has broken ground officials on a new building for Tyner Academy in Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that $95 million Tyner Middle High Academy will combine the middle and high schools and accommodate up to 1,400 students.

"We're excited to begin the new phase of this journey," Tyner Principal Tiffany Earvin said. "We are thankful to everyone who fought for this space."

A 2019 facilities report rated Tyner High and Tyner Middle as the second and third worst school buildings in the county.

The situation reached a tipping point when leaky roofs in the 400 building, which houses Tyner's Freshman Academy, forced its closure the day classes began in August 2021.

Students at Tyner walked out of school in protest, and three seniors later appeared before the Hamilton County school board and the County Commission to call attention to the inadequate conditions.

Plans had called for the new school building to open in fall 2024, but an increase in project costs -- $17 million more than officials anticipated -- pushed the date back to January 2025.

In February 2022, it was estimated the project would cost nearly $78 million. Bids in December 2022 came in much higher, and the school board accepted a $95 million bid.

Once students move in, the existing buildings will be demolished to make way for a new parking lot, football stadium and practice field.

The new two-story building will separate middle and high school students but will have shared spaces: the cafeteria, band room, media room and other seating areas.

Middle and high schoolers will each have their own full-court gyms and classrooms. The high school gym will also have an indoor running track and two practice courts.

The architect is MBI Companies, and the builder is Christman Co.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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