KNOXVILLE — In the summer of 2015, a master plan was put together for Young’s Park.
Knoxville City Manager Aaron Adams said the city put together a plan to move it forward and bring Young’s Park into the 21st century.
At a City Council meeting on June 19, Adams gave a presentation about how the city can implement the plan to move the project forward.
Adams made a recommendation at the meeting that the city begin focusing on the Young’s Park project. The project could be split into a south and north project, he added.
Next spring, city officials will sell bonds for the south part of the project. Construction could begin as early as next year. In 2019, the city would sell additional bonds for the north part of the project, then begin construction there.
Adams said part of the project will be a swap. The old skatepark by the high school will become the new tennis court area and the old tennis court area will become the new skatepark. Also, new restroom facilities and a shelter will replace the old facilities.
The new shelter would be larger than the existing shelter, with concessions, restrooms and a storage space for the city Parks Department.
There will also be a rope play area, which is composed of a tower of ropes for children to climb; sand volleyball courts and a youth splash pad area with a shaded structure. One of the big expenses for the project is all the paving that needs to be done for the parking lot, Adams noted.
The first piece of construction would be the south side of the park, which is estimated to cost $1.6 million. The north side would be an additional $1.8 million, he said.
“It’s a big project,” Adams said. “Just the paving alone is quite expensive.”
There also is a significant amount of dirt work that needs to be done in certain locations in the park due to water issues. Restrooms may not seem like a big deal, but there is a lot of utility work that needs to be completed to build new restroom facilities, he said.
The shelter alone is estimated to cost $400,000, Adams told the council.
“This would be a big deal. It would represent a big change,” Adams said of proposed changes. “The city has not had a lot of big expenditures in parks in many years since a project like this has been taken on. We are excited to get the word out.”
Ethan Goetz is a staff writer for the Pella Chronicle and Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.