Wed
Mar 28 2018
04:04 pm

The BMX track project at South Doyle Middle school is moving forward but faces some hurdles. It appears there will be more work than originally anticipated, and Knox Co. Parks and Rec says the cost will be more than the $750 thousand originally estimated. They are bringing in PBA to assist. More in the press release after the break...

South Knox BMX track facing challenges, still moving forward

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The BMX track and athletic field project at South Doyle Middle School has faced some challenges, but, for now, it is moving forward. Knox County Parks and Recreation Director Doug Bataille said he wanted to give the community an update on the project timeline and its budget.

“The BMX track is a great project and an excellent reuse of the old stadium but has turned out to be a different challenge than our normal park projects,” Bataille said. “We anticipated some renovations, while others were unanticipated. We planned to do many of the repairs with our staff, but once we saw how complicated the design process was, as well as the ADA issues in the stadium, we asked the Public Building Authority to assist us.”

Moving forward, the Public Building Authority, with assistance from Knox County Engineering & Public Works, will lead the project.

Initially, Bataille estimated that the entire project would cost $750,000, which is what Mayor Burchett included in his FY2018 budget. Officials are working to firm up estimates, but the project is expected to cost hundreds of thousands more due to unanticipated needs and increased construction costs.

“Unfortunately, the estimate I provided the mayor and that he ultimately provided to Commission was incomplete and did not take into account various necessary costs,” Bataille said. “While I regret that this happened, I hope that, once completed, this track will attract a national competition, which could bring $1.3 million in economic impact to the local economy. I take responsibility for this mistake.”

He said the project is still a good value when compared to other projects across the country. For example, Rock Hill, SC, one of the best tracks in the country, spent $6.5 million and Cobb County, GA was $2.35 million. “We hope to have a great track somewhere between these two but at a much lower cost,” Bataille said.

Bataille also is working with Legacy Parks Foundation and Visit Knoxville to improve the appearance of the stadium. The organizations are coordinating with East Tennessee Design Center to create a vision for the exterior of the stadium. Construction of the track is scheduled to start this summer, and construction of the school’s athletic fields is also scheduled to start as soon as weather permits.

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