published Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Whitfield County almost ready to open newly built Coahulla Creek High School

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    A worker heads back towards the site of construction at Coahulla Creek High School in Dalton, Ga. in this file photo.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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    Coahulla Creek High School

DALTON, Ga. — With a little more than three weeks before the beginning of the new school year, the finishing touches are being placed on Whitfield County’s newest high school.

Phil Brown, who will serve as principal at the newly built Coahulla Creek High School, provided an update to Whitfield County school board members during their meeting Monday evening.

“Our curriculum design teams are meeting regularly, and by the first week in August things will get really busy at the school,” Brown said.

The school has around 700 students enrolled, which is about 100 more than the targeted number, according to spokesman Eric Beavers.

This spring, school board members voted to open enrollment for all grades to allow more students to attend. The school is built for about 1,200 students.

Through May 31, about $30 million had been spent on the school. Total cost is expected to come in on budget at about $45.2 million.

Brown said officials expect to bring science lab and other equipment into the school next week. The fieldhouse and some of the athletic fields will not be finished before school begins but should be ready in time for the first games of the season.

So far, Coahulla Creek athletic teams have been practicing at other area schools, Brown said.

In other business, school board members voted to table a proposal to change a high school attendance policy. High school principals had requested that board members strike a policy that students fail a class if they have six unexcused absences for that class.

Brown told board members that the schools had other policies that addressed attendance issues and that the six unexcused absences rule created an added burden on administrators.

But Chairman Louis Fordham expressed unease at the message it would send to students that they could miss a class as frequently as they liked and still pass if they passed the tests.

“I’m worried about the impact it will have on the students and what this is teaching them,” Fordham said.

The board will discuss the issue at their next work session.

Contact staff writer Mariann Martin at mmartin@timesfreepress.com or 706-980-5824.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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