Councilman Tom Cassada defended the decision to construct a new elementary school on Georgetown Road/Highway 60 during the Cleveland City Council’s meeting on Monday.The location of the …
Councilman Tom Cassada defended the decision to construct a new elementary school on Georgetown Road/Highway 60 during the Cleveland City Council’s meeting on Monday.
The location of the school, Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School, which opened last week, has been criticized by some Cleveland residents who claim its presence has contributed to area traffic congestion, where another school — Cleveland Middle School — already contributes to traffic problems. Another elementary school, Hopewell Elementary — a Bradley County school — is located approximately two miles northwest.
“I don’t think it was wrong to put a new elementary school on Georgetown Road," Cassada said. “I want to defend that.”
Cassada said the more important issue was that the new school has eased overcrowding at other city elementary schools, which benefits students.
“It took some of the pressure off of other schools; it freed up the other schools to have more space," Cassada said.
In addition, Cassada said the construction and opening of the new school has helped to further along a planned TDOT project that will widen portions of Georgetown Road/Highway 60.
The widening project includes a 5.9-mile stretch of roadway — also referred as Highway 60 — which runs from Interstate 75 to State Route 306. It consists of three-lane sections, passing lanes, 12-foot travel lanes and eight-foot shoulders.
Bidding for the project is planned to begin in October.
The councilman said he has been observing traffic in the area, particularly where the new school is located.
“I didn’t see any impact at all on Wednesday,” Cassada said. “I sat out there for 45 minutes.”
The new single-story 97,000-square-foot-school is located at 4445 Georgetown Road N.W. (Highway 60). The school is designed for a maximum of 520 students. Currently, 451 students are enrolled.
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