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Groundbreaking scheduled for new Harrison Elementary

Hamilton County Schools will celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Harrison Elementary School at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

Speakers at the ceremony will include Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Superintendent Bryan Johnson, multiple members of the school board and county commissioners. Members of the Central High School band will also perform during the community celebration.

The new Harrison Elementary is one of several major projects included in a $100 million-plus capital plan, approved by the school board and funded by the last tax increase in 2017.

The new elementary school will have a capacity of approximately 880 students with 80 classrooms, age-appropriate playgrounds, a gym, and “makerspaces,” or areas for students to engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) work.

The school is slated to open for the August 2021 school year.

STEM School Chattanooga to host 5th annual STEM Jubilee

Hamilton County’s STEM School will host its annual STEM Jubilee, a science, technology, engineering and math event that introduces elementary school students to a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math-related concepts through hands-on activities.

The 2019 event is sponsored by First Tennessee Bank and Amazon. More than 4,000 elementary school students will attend this year’s activities.

The event will be held on Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16 at Chattanooga State Community College. The school will also host an open hour and tour at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 16 for parents and educators as part of the Remake Learning Days Across America Chattanooga initiative.

Registration for the tour and open house is required. To register, visit:

Chattanooga State, BASF launch TECH Academy

BASF and Chattanooga State Community College are partnering to launch BASF’s TECH Academy for local high school students this summer.

The week-long summer program will include field trips to learn about careers in welding and other technical fields, hands-on activities and experiments and meetings with professionals.

The program is one effort of the partners to raise attention about the nationwide need for skilled welding professionals.

“At BASF, welding is a vital part of piping and steel fabrication for our manufacturing facilities,” said Robert Gagliano, site director in Chattanooga, in a statement. “We depend on welders to assemble the world we live in. They are an essential part of our everyday life in the chemical industry.”

The free program is available to rising high school junior sand seniors from Brainerd High, Central High, Hixson High, The Howard School, Polytech Academy, Red Bank High and Tyner Academy.

For more information about Chattanooga State’s welding program ,visit For more information about BASF’s TECH Academy, visit

Richard DeVos Jr. delivers Lee University’s commencement speech

Richard DeVos Jr., the son of the late Richard and Helen DeVos, and the husband of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, delivered the commencement speech at Lee University’s May 4 graduation ceremony.

“DeVos is the leader of one of America’s most successful and prominent families in the world of business and public affairs,” said Paul Conn, president of Lee University.

Former president and CEO of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team and former CEO and president of Amway Corporation, DeVos spoke about graduation as a milestone.

“You’ve received excellent training,” DeVos said. “The Board of Directors, President Conn, your faculty, and your administrators have done their jobs very well. You are well-trained and well-prepared to select your path ‘through the trees’ through prayerfulness, thoughtfulness, and skill.”

Lee awarded degrees from more than 100 different programs to 574 graduates Saturday.

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