Mayor ‘hopeful’ Town/County center is open by ‘late fall’ ’19

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission has approved a site plan for the exterior of the future Farragut Community Center and Knox County Senior Center at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 20.

After the meeting, Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said the center, 239 Jamestowne Blvd., hopefully would be open in late fall 2019 — but he indicated there still is a lot of work to do.

“Knox County’s got what it’s got to do, and we’re moving full speed ahead on what we’ve got to do,” he said. “A whole lot of what will have to happen will be dependent upon what Knox County can get done.”

The Town and Knox County closed on the property, previously owned by Faith Lutheran Church, Aug. 21.

“As part of the reuse of that facility for the senior center and the community center, there’s obviously some interior and exterior modifications that need to happen,” Mark Shipley, Farragut Community Development director, said as he presented the site plan.

“(The architects) are going to make the building look not like a church, so we’re getting rid of the steeple,” he added. “We’ve got a church that’s taking that, apparently.

“We’re redoing the doors. We’re going to change out the cross above the doors and put (Town’s) iconic emblem up there.”

“Are you going to have that miserable green color?” Commissioner Betty Dick asked.

While eliciting chuckles from commissioners, Shipley answered, “That’s the Town’s logo, the Town’s color.”

In the lower level, he said architects have designed a parking lot where the playground currently is located for Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.

Architects also have added sidewalk connections at the rear of the building.

The upper level parking area will be resealed, spaces reconfigured and restriped to bring it more into compliance with the Town’s parking lot requirements.

While there are six staff comments, Shipley they are minor.

“So when is this … do you have a date?” Commission Chair Rita Holladay asked.

“Soon,” Shipley answered. “As soon as they can. I don’t know the specific timeline, but we’re going at a fast pace here.”

Williams referred to the site plan for the exterior and noted, “All these things take time.”

“ADA is the biggest,” Commissioner Ed Whiting said.

“(The current plan) only applies to the outside of the building, but when you get inside, that bottom floor was a children’s area; so all the commodes are this high (about 3 feet) off the ground. All that’s got to be changed,” Williams said.

In other business, FMPC approved unanimously:

• a site plan for the exterior of the former Outlet Mall building, formerly housing At Home, at 11221 Outlet Drive.

• A site plan for a clubhouse, playground, pavilion and pool for Brookmere Subdivision.