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CGLA Celebrates the Opening of Hutton Gymnasium

CGLA Celebrates Opening of Hutton Gymnasium

On Wednesday, January 25, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) hosted a community-wide event to celebratethe opening of Hutton Gymnasium. Located at 1800 Vance Avenue, the newly renovated athletic building represents thecompletion of the first phase of an ambitious campus expansion initiative that ensures deserving young women inChattanooga have access to a comprehensive and enriching educational program.

According to Dr. Elaine Swafford, executive director of CGLA, the Hutton Gymnasium adds a necessary dimension tocreating a vibrant learning experience. “Establishing and maintaining strong athletics and extra-curricular programs arecentral to our educational philosophy. Students who participate in balanced competition and physical activity gainlifelong social, emotional, and physical benefits. By encouraging sport-specific knowledge and talents, we are helpingstudents develop critical thinking, collaboration and leaderships skills.”

Named to honor the generosity and leadership of CGLA supporter Karen Hutton, the gymnasium is a part of the school’sstrategic capital improvement plan. A 16,000 square-foot structure, Hutton Gymnasium features a basketball court withseating for 800 spectators, a fitness/exercise deck, an injury/training room, a classroom space, offices for coaches, a newsound system, a concessions stand, and indoor/outdoor LED lighting.

“Our beautiful new Hutton Gymnasium is also a multipurpose venue that can accommodate large gatherings,” saidVirginia Anne Sharber, member of the CGLA board of directors. “Because of Karen Hutton, our students have a dynamicspace that will meaningfully impact their CGLA experience.”

A long-standing and willing advocate of CGLA, Karen Hutton is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and education activist.The founder and president of HUTTON, a national construction and real estate development company, Ms. Huttondonated more than $500,000 to the gymnasium renovation project. “Karen is a selfless and unassuming person; so wewere especially excited to surprise her by naming this wonderful building Hutton Gymnasium,” noted Dr. Sue AnneWells, CGLA co-founder and president of the board of directors. “Karen believes that an exceptional school is a blend ofgreat people, great ideas, and great environments. Her zealous commitment and infinite kindness are creatingopportunities that advance student achievement.”

Ms. Hutton’s substantial gift sparked interest and generated support from local businesses and numerous concernedcitizens. CGLA garnered broad community support, including notable gifts from local architect Rice Williams; theCommunity Foundation of Greater Chattanooga; the Weldon F. Osborne Foundation; BlueCross BlueShield of TennesseeHealth Foundation; RCS Fabrication, Inc.; Cornerstone Bank; Jake Marshall Service, Inc.; Shaw Industries; Foam-Crete,Inc.; Tennessee Lighting Sales, Inc.; Mechanical & Electrical Group, LLC; James Turner; TVA; and Chattanooga StateCommunity College.

Please see below for further coverage:

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Wiedmer: Girls Leadership Academy gym now sparkles as much as its students

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy celebrates much-needed gym renovations

WTVC Channel 9 - Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy celebrates new gym - Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Celebrates The Opening Of Hutton Gymnasium