Local News

October 15, 2013

Eastbrook demolition set

Obliteration of old school could start next month

It’s been sitting vacant for more than a year, but soon the old Eastbrook Middle School won’t even exist.

“It’s just in terrible shape,” said Mike Ewton, director of operations for Whitfield County Schools.

Members of the Whitfield County Board of Education voted 5-0 at their Monday night meeting to allow the Whitfield County Public Works Department to tear down the building by March 1, 2014. Members of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, which oversee major public works projects, also voted unanimously Monday night to agree to the job.

Ewton said demolition could start as early as next month.

The abandoned school was replaced by a newer Eastbrook Middle School, which opened in August 2012. The new school cost $24 million to build and was paid through revenue from a 1 percent Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Students and teachers said the old school had become a poor learning environment complete with asbestos, mold and mice.

Ewton said the school system paid approximately $50,000 for a crew to clear out potentially harmful contaminants such as asbestos or freon for the demolishing crew. That cost was budgeted into the $24 million price tag for the new school, he added.

As part of the deal, Whitfield County government will take ownership of the school’s gym, which won’t be torn down. The deal allows the county school system free “priority” use of the gym for 24 months (until October 2015).

“They provide the labor and equipment in exchange for the old gym,” Ewton said. “And they will keep user rights while we build the new gym (at the site of the new school).”

He said school officials are in the “design phase” of a new school gym and have received about $1 million in state funding for the project. A cost estimate for the gym won’t be determined until a design is approved by school board members, he added.

If there is a delay on building the new gym, the agreement allows for Eastbrook to keep using the gym for an extra 12 months (until October 2016).

When the county government takes full control of the gym it will be used for local sports programs such as community basketball, said Mike Babb, board of commissioners chairman.

“Obviously we have to do a little work to the gym,” Babb said. “But it comes with a parking lot. It was basically a good opportunity to expand our access to another gymnasium.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local congressmen agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Avans.jpg Three arrested in arson plot to claim insurance money

    Three people have been arrested for their role in a fire at a Chatsworth home as part of an insurance scam to collect money, officials said.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Investigation into MFG chemical accident continues

    An investigation is still ongoing after a MFG Chemical employee was injured earlier this month at a plant on Kimberly Park Drive.

    July 25, 2014

  • Judge sets $100,000 bond for Cohutta man accused of incest, molestation

    A Cohutta man charged with incest, aggravated sodomy and child molestation was granted a $100,000 bond over the prosecutor’s objection on Friday.

    July 25, 2014