Collegedale, Tennessee

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Collegedale, Tennessee
Justice, Safety, Efficiency
Location in Hamilton County, Tennessee
Location in Hamilton County, Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°3′6″N 85°2′49″W / 35.05167°N 85.04694°W / 35.05167; -85.04694
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCity Manager-Commission
 • City ManagerWayon Hines
 • Total12.05 sq mi (31.21 km2)
 • Land12.05 sq mi (31.21 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
784 ft (239 m)
 • Total8,282
 • Estimate 
 • Density944.15/sq mi (364.53/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
37302, 37315, 37363
Area code(s)423
FIPS code47-16300[3]
GNIS feature ID1280968[4]

Collegedale is a city in Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 8,282 at the 2010 census[5] and 11,492 in a 2018 estimate.[6] Collegedale is a suburb of Chattanooga and is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Collegedale is home to Southern Adventist University. The median household income is one of the highest in Hamilton County.[7] It has been ranked as one of the best and safest places to live in Tennessee.[8] The unincorporated community of Ooltewah is an enclave in Collegedale.


Collegedale was founded as the site of Southern Adventist University (then Southern Junior College) in 1916. It was incorporated under a city manager government in 1968. J.M. Ackerman was the first city manager, and Fred Fuller served as the city's first mayor.


Collegedale is located in southeastern Hamilton County at 35°3′6″N 85°2′49″W / 35.05167°N 85.04694°W / 35.05167; -85.04694 (35.051578, -85.047004),[9] in the valley of Wolftever Creek. Just west of the city center, the creek cuts through White Oak Mountain, forming Collegedale Gap. Tennessee State Route 317 passes through the city center and Collegedale Gap, leading southeast 10 miles (16 km) to State Route 60 and northwest 4 miles (6 km) to Interstate 75 in the northeastern outskirts of Chattanooga. Downtown Chattanooga is 19 miles (31 km) west of Collegedale. Tennessee State Route 321 runs through the western part of Collegedale, leading north to U.S. routes 11 and 64 just north of Ooltewah and south 5 miles (8 km) to the Georgia state line.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 9.9 square miles (25.6 km2), all of it recorded as land.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)11,378[2]37.4%

2020 census[edit]

Collegedale racial composition[12]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 8,112 73.02%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 831 7.48%
Native American 27 0.24%
Asian 410 3.69%
Pacific Islander 14 0.13%
Other/Mixed 508 4.57%
Hispanic or Latino 1,207 10.87%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 11,109 people, 4,167 households, and 2,485 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 6,514 people, 2,049 households, and 1,528 families residing in the city. The population density was 781.6 people per square mile (301.9/km2). There were 2,199 housing units at an average density of 263.9 per square mile (101.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.55% White, 4.37% African American, 0.01% Native American, 0.01% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.87% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.74% of the population.

There were 2,049 households, out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out, with 19.8% under the age of 18, 25.2% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 88.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,270, and the median income for a family was $52,337. Males had a median income of $37,819 versus $28,345 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,604. About 5.3% of families and 7.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.5% of those under the age of 18 and 4.0% of those 65 and older.

Collegedale has a large Seventh-day Adventist community and in 2005 was described as an "enclave" for the religion by Charles Reagan Wilson and Mark Silk.[13]


McKee Foods is headquartered in Collegedale. Originally launched in Chattanooga in 1934, the company moved to a facility on the campus of Southern Adventist University in 1956. McKee Foods is the producer of Little Debbie and Sunbelt snack foods.[14]

Arts and culture[edit]

In August 2011, the city took over control of the Collegedale Public Library, which was previously operated under the Hamilton County library system. Library membership is available on a paid subscription basis, free to residents of Collegedale.[15]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Six parks are managed by the Parks & Recreation Department of Collegedale:

  • East Hamilton County Park has a high school baseball field and three youth fields.
  • Wolftever Creek Greenway is a greenway which spans throughout the city and continues to be expanded upon by the city.
  • Collegedale Dog Park provides dog-owners with a dog park for unleashed dog socialization.
  • Imagination Station & Pavilion is a playground and rental space located behind City Hall with a train theme.
  • The Nature Nook is an amphitheatre built by the East Hamilton County Kiwanis Club for the city.
  • Veterans Memorial Park is located along the Wolftever Creek Greenway and features plaques, sculptures and flags as a memorial to United States war veterans.[16]

The town has youth and adult softball leagues.[17] It also has four pickleball courts adjacent to the Imagination Station and City Hall.


Collegedale was incorporated in 1968. It operates under a City Manager-Commission form of government. Five commissioners are elected by popular vote and they are responsible for choosing a city manager, who then proceeds to implement the commissions policies.[18]

On August 5, 2013, Collegedale became the first city in Tennessee to extend health benefits to same-sex couples.[19]


Southern Adventist University, a private Christian university, is located in Collegedale.[20] It has an affiliated K-12 education system, Collegedale Academy, which includes Collegedale Academy Middle School, and Collegedale Academy Elementary

Wolftever Creek Elementary School and Ooltewah Middle School are the two public schools inside of city limits. Both schools belong to the Hamilton County Schools system.



Collegedale airport

The city is located just off the I-75 corridor.[21] Collegedale Municipal Airport is owned by the city of Collegedale and has about 120 aircraft stationed there.[citation needed] In 2003, the airport was awarded the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission's "Airport of the Year" title.[22]


Collegedale has a recycling program which requires the public to bring their recyclables to the city public works department. The city uses recycling to reduce the costs of landfill waste disposal and offsets the cost of recycling by selling the recyclable materials.[23] Comcast provides cable services and CenturyLink supplies landline phone services. Electricity is supplied by EPB and the Chattanooga Gas Company supplies gas needs. The city and/or Hamilton County handles resident sewer needs and Eastside Utility District handles water services.[24]

Health & safety[edit]

The city utilizes Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services for emergency medical services and contracts fire & rescue services to the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department located in Collegedale. The local volunteer fire department, at Station 1, has 100 members and support staff and an ISO Class 2 rating.[25] The Collegedale Police Department provides police services for the city.[26]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. 24 May 2020. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Collegedale city, Tennessee". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  13. ^ Charles Reagan Wilson; Mark Silk (2005). Religion and public life in the South: in the evangelical mode. Rowman Altamira. pp. 128–. ISBN 978-0-7591-0635-2. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  14. ^ "History". About us. McKee Foods. 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  15. ^ "About the Library". About Us. Collegedale Public Library. 2011. Archived from the original on 12 November 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  16. ^ "City of Collegedale Parks & Recreation". Departments & Services. City of Collegedale. 2009. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  17. ^ "Cdale Softball". Collegedale Softball. 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Collegedale Local Government". City Government. City of Collegedale. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Collegedale approves benefits for same-sex couples".
  20. ^ "Southern Adventist University". CollegeView. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  21. ^ "Welcome to the City of Collegedale, TN". City of Collegedale. 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  22. ^ "Collegedale Airport Named Airport Of The Year". The Chattanoogan. 22 August 2003. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  23. ^ "Recycling Information". Departments & Services. City of Collegedale. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  24. ^ "Utilities". Area Living. City of Collegedale. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  25. ^ "Fire, Rescue & EMS Services". Departments & Services. City of Collegedale. 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  26. ^ "Collegedale Police Department". Departments & Services. City of Collegedale. 2009. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°03′06″N 85°02′49″W / 35.051578°N 85.047004°W / 35.051578; -85.047004