Since my last article in June of this year, I continue to get lots of questions about what is happening around Town. There is so much going on that it is hard to cover it all in such a small amount of space. We have new business development, road improvements, Town-owned land developments, etc.
It appears to me that I get the most questions about the Town-owned land developments because these affect the most people living in our Town. So I will attempt to give everyone a quick update on the progress of the three largest projects. These projects will give citizens of all ages the opportunity to be more involved in our community and get out and be active.
The new community center is, by far, the project I get the most questions about. We purchased the former Faith Lutheran Church in August of 2018. We began remodeling the building earlier this year and are currently on schedule for a ribbon cutting on Jan. 16. Our entire Parks & Recreation department will relocate their offices to this building, and this will occupy most of January. We hope the building will be available for the public to view in late January, but programming won’t start until early February. Our parks department has already received numerous requests for information and they will respond once the activities, schedules and fees are finalized. Look forward to hearing much more as we get closer to the grand opening, which is less than 90 days away.
The next project is a new plaza at the Campbell Station Inn. This may be the most valuable piece of property we own as it sits right in the middle of our Town. Phase 3 improvements began in October with an anticipated finish date of June 2020. The house is stabilized and finished on the outside and the next stage is to upgrade the property. Because of the location, we want it to be visually appealing as well as very functional for all of our citizens.
To improve accessibility, we are changing the entrances roads and adding additional parking. The new entrance from Campbell Station Road will be a right-in, right-out only that runs parallel to Kingston Pike at the rear of the property. It comes to a “T” with the second entrance, which is a right-in, right-out from Kingston Pike that continues to Village Green Shopping Center. This gives us a third access point to the property.
Phase 3 renovations also include the creation of a small circular plaza (pocket park) to be built at the corner of Campbell Station Road and Kingston Pike. We hope to eventually have special community events on this plaza since it is located in the center of our Town. It will also be available to the public as a place to relax with friends and family.
In the future, we will complete the inside of the historic house and possibly add other buildings, like a welcome center or a new Farragut Museum. This piece of property may someday be the focal point of our downtown.
The third project I wanted to mention is McFee Park. This 52-acre park expansion has been long in coming and is due to receive construction bids in November/December. We hope to have the bids to BOMA for approval in January for a groundbreaking in early spring. The major part of this phase is massive grading (35 acres), utility work and construction of a new road. After approximately 12 months, we can start adding amenities, and we plan for many. We are looking at early 2021 before we can access this part of the park.
In closing, I want to recognize Sue Stuhl, our Parks & Recreation director. Each of these projects is a major undertaking, so it is amazing she is successfully tackling all three simultaneously. Her education, experience and energy are key to continued favorable progress. Thank you, Sue, for your dedication and hard work.
I hope this will answer some of the questions you have been asking about these projects and get you even more excited about the next three, nine and 12 months ahead of us and what these developments will mean for our Town.