town view: Ron Pinchok

When the research was being conducted for the town of Farragut’s branding campaign, our parks and greenways were chosen by our citizens as our second greatest asset with the expansion of parks and greenways as our second highest ranked opportunity for growth. These numbers provide the justification behind the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing our popular recreational amenities.

This year, two projects have been approved in Farragut’s Capital Investment Program, with one slated to be complete in early June. The community is anxiously awaiting the opening of the new and expanded splash pad with a nature theme at McFee Park, a Vortex Aquatic Structures product. This will be the largest public splash pad in the greater Knoxville area. Stay tuned to and the local media for the opening announcement.

The other project starting this budget year is the construction of a second synthetic turf field at Mayor Bob Leonard Park, replacing the current natural turf rectangular field No. 1. The field is being converted due to the high demand for year-round play and practices. Playrite, LLC will be the contractor for this project.

Pending approval of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget by BOMA, two additional projects may soon be underway at these parks. MBLP is set to undergo a renovation of the upper restroom building, expansion of parking and the conversion of a third athletic field to synthetic turf. Projected total project cost is $1,180,000.

The Town also will be continuing the planning of McFee Park Phase 3. In 2016-17, Town staff will ask for community input to update and refine the park master plan, which now encompasses close to 50 acres. Currently, a little over one-fourth of the park has been developed. Additional amenities for the next two phases could include a dog park, disc golf course, tennis courts, walk trails, picnic pavilions, linear playground, pond renovation, amphitheater, two additional rectangular athletic fields and restrooms. Once the amenities are selected, construction plans will be completed. Construction then is slated to begin in Fiscal Year 2018. Over the next six years, the CIP calls for a budget of more than $7.5 million for the development of the remainder of McFee Park.

Farragut’s park system is one of my favorite aspects of living in this Town, and I take pride that we can offer such attractive, fun and well-maintained places for the community to spend time with their families and friends. I look forward to seeing these projects come to life along with you.