Alcoa Commission reviews new high school property
By Matthew Stewart | (email@example.com)
The city of Alcoa is reviewing an ALCOA Inc. proposal concerning property for the new Alcoa High School.
During Thursday’s Alcoa City Commission briefing, Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson discussed the project’s recent developments. City officials, ALCOA Inc. and Chattanooga-based developers Kinsey Probasco Hays are holding ongoing negotiations regarding the school site’s acquisition.
Kinsey Probasco Hays owns the former ALCOA Inc. West Plant site, a 375-acre property bounded by Hall Road, Alcoa Highway, Hunt Road, Mills Street and Faraday Street.
ALCOA Inc. submitted a proposal Monday to the city of Alcoa, Johnson said. The proposal concerns 25 acres southwest of the current high school’s location and 28 acres in the Lake Louise area, a former waste disposal site that was filled in several years ago.
Johnson and the city’s counsel are currently reviewing the proposal and its conditions. The proposal’s conditions include:
• Securing an environmental insurance policy in which ALCOA Inc. would be named as one of the insured parties;
• Waiving some of the city’s sovereign immunity in case of a lawsuit.
City officials hope to have a recommendation prior to next month’s Alcoa City Commission meeting, Johnson said. “The proposal looks very promising. We’re not ready to make a recommendation right now, but we’re working very quickly. We think we’re close to a favorable deal.”
Assistant City Manager Bill Hammon is currently investigating the cost of environmental insurance policies, he said. Under the proposal, the city of Alcoa would be required to purchase the policy.
City officials and counsel are also discussing the sovereign immunity proposal, Johnson said. Both parties are opposed to the idea.
“We’re not inclined to waive our sovereign immunity,” said city attorney John E. Owings.
“We don’t feel like it would be in the best interest of our citizens, or our future citizens,” Johnson said.
2015 Finish date
Alcoa City Schools is working toward a possible groundbreaking in May.
The Lewis Group has prepared and submitted project plans to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. The project team anticipates a two- to three-week turnaround.
Civil engineers are close to completing site plans. They are currently working on the site’s boundaries.
Merit Construction has received subcontractor prequalification information, and officials are currently reviewing the materials. The firm expects to issue plans for bid around Feb. 14 and anticipates that bids will be due March 7.
The new Alcoa High School is expected to be completed in April 2015 in time for its opening in July 2015.
Officials have outlined three development phases.
The project’s first phase will be the school, parking lots and roadwork, and the second phase will be an auxiliary gym that will be constructed. The third phase will be football stadium renovations and the construction of a track.
The stadium renovation project’s scope will include a new field house, press box and concessions area. Officials also plan to install a synthetic turf field system.
The building program’s second and third phases will be completed as funding becomes available.