Taking the recommendation of officials within the school system, Hamilton County commissioners opted to move forward with the selection of an architect for a new East Brainerd Elementary School. 

The 7-2 vote came one week after a commission signaled they would give Superintendent Rick Smith and Assistant Superintendent Gary Waters the go-ahead for submitting a request for proposals for how best to salvage or tear down and rebuild a new school on the site of the former David Brainerd School, located along Igou Gap Road. The school system purchased the site last year for $3.5 million. 

The vote will allow an Architectural Review Committee to be formed of county and school officials, who will oversee the recommendations.

Voting against the resolution were commissioners Joe Graham and Fred Skillern; all other commissioners supported. 


During extensive remarks to the commission, Graham detailed a recent visit he made to the facility, using words such as “gorgeous” and “beautiful” to describe a facility he wanted to keep. 

Commissioner Tim Boyd responded to Graham’s comments, calling them “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

“The fact that you can put lipstick on a pig is a true statement is a true statement, but it don’t change the pig,” Boyd said. “And what Mr. Waters and his department did, he did a fine job of putting a lot of lipstick on the facility out there, by my own admission. It looks good when you drive up, but it’s residential construction.”