Next week the East Ridge City Council will consider transferring property that it acquired from Hamilton County Schools back to the county in order to pave the way for construction of a field house for Raymond James Stadium.
According to a press release from the City, city officials, football coach Tim James, and District 8 Hamilton County School Board Member Tucker McClendon have been in discussions regarding a location for a newly proposed Field House and Weight Room to be possibly constructed at East Ridge High School. Potential funds allocated within the Hamilton County Board of Education combined with the existing East Ridge Alumni Association funds makes this project highly probable. During the discussions, it was determined that the ideal and desired location of this new facility should be on the current athletic field property which the City of East Ridge now owns.
For the proposed Field House and Weight Room to become a reality, fiscal issues dictated that the athletic field property must be transferred back to the Hamilton County Board of Education in order for the County funds to be spent on County property.
Mayor Brian Williams stated, “I personally believe at this time that the reversion of the athletic field property back to the Hamilton County School Board would be in the best interest for our school, students and citizens.”
City Attorney Mark Litchford and Hamilton County Board of Education attorney Scott Bennett agree that a second interlocal agreement between the Hamilton County Board of Education and the City of East Ridge would be acceptable.
This second agreement would provide that the City of East Ridge would:
- Continue to have access to all the tennis courts exclusive of the time when East Ridge High School or East Ridge Middle School has extra-curricular tennis matches and practices which occur during their respective league seasons.
- Have continued right and access to the use of the football field for the City’s recreation league and other related City events exclusive of the time when school extra-curricular football games and practices are occurring during their respective league seasons. The City would also continue assisting East Ridge High with certain types of field maintenance as it did before it took ownership of the complex.
Mayor Williams wants to recognize and stress that we appreciate the joint relationship that the City of East Ridge has shared with Hamilton County Board of Education and East Ridge High School.
“I think the prior arrangement and relationship has been beneficial for the students and East Ridge citizens. The City is excited to keep building upon this relationship and look forward to seeing the athletic facility improvements which will benefit our school, students and community.”
The transfer of the athletic field property has been added as an agenda item on the December 12 meeting of the East Ridge City Council.