$44,600 for McFee schematic plans highlighted by 8 courts

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen has taken another step on Phase III of the McFee Park expansion project.

During its meeting, Thursday, Nov. 8, the Board approved unanimously Alderman Scott Meyer’s motion to pay Ross/Fowler Landscape Architecture Urban Design & Planning an additional $44,600 to design schematic plans on the project. The $44,600 is on top of the estimated $442,250 plus up to $10,000 in reimbursable expenses the Board already is under contract to pay the firm for design work.

“We’re very excited to get this (schematic design) back,” Alderman Drew Burnette said.

The plan would include room for eight multi-purpose courts, mass grading, a great lawn, a restroom/hitting wall for various sports and a storage building.

The Board ironed out what it would like to see included in the schematic plans during a workshop just before the regular meeting.

Farragut Parks and Recreation director Sue Stuhl said in October 2017, the Board approved the contract with Ross/Fowler for the next phase of McFee Park.

During the workshop prior to the Board meeting, the main bone of contention was tennis courts.

While Mayor Ron Williams suggested having space for eight courts with room in between each of two courts for spectators, Vice Mayor Povlin contended, “That’s not an efficient use of space.”

She suggested having three courts, as was proposed in the original master plan for McFee Park.

Williams said the schematic plan is only design work.

“The schematic design is to get the numbers,” Williams said. “We’re not going to spend construction money (at this point).”

He recommended the design be all-encompassing.

“We’re looking to get support from either the (U.S. Tennis Association) for tennis courts, some public funding or private funding,” Alderman Ron Pinchok said. “But until we get started, we can’t go after that money.

“If we’re going to get this thing rolling, we’ve got to get it rolling now,” he added.

“We have limited funding right now, but there are bright lights in the horizon,” Williams said.

He added his vision is to have an approved design plan to draw in donors, or build sponsors, interested in paying for construction of amenities in the park.

In turn, the Town could place signs, bricks or other forms with the donors’ names on them at the park.

Also, he said the Town could build the amenities in phases.

“I’m fine with dreaming big,” Meyer said.

“I’m all in favor of finding out what this design

Williams also suggested moving the proposed amphitheater, which was in the master plan, to the Town Center, where there would be more foot traffic.

In other business, the Board also approved a request from Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers to pay an $8,380 supplement to include roundabout designs in the Virtue Road project. This brings the total fees of $429,800 to Vaughn and Melton, Town engineer Darryl Smith said. The road improvements encompass 700 feet south of Kingston Pike to 2,200 feet south of Broadwood Drive.

Smith said, in 2017,the Board approved an agreement with Vaughn & Melton to develop improvement plans for Virtue Road.

“The project includes widening Virtue Road to two 11-foot lanes with curb and gutter and a multi-use path,” he said. “In August, FMPC requested that a roundabout be added to the project plans.”

Additionally, Sugarwood residents along Virtue Road expressed their concerns about speeders and asked for more traffic calming measures during community and FMPC meetings.

“The roundabout will be located at the intersection of Virtue Road with Needlegrass Lane (Brookmere subdivision, currently under construction,” he added.