The city has officially taken steps to begin work on the newly-planned park for the East side of town.
City officials requested and the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved an agreement with Lose Design for “professional services” that will lead to the first phase of the park project at its most recent meeting.
The new park is planned for a parcel of land located between Freeman and Silver streets.
According to City Administrator Jennifer Moody, the new park is one large component of Mayor Lane Curlee’s vision of having every resident of Tullahoma live within a half mile of an outdoor fitness or recreational opportunity.
At a Monday, Oct. 28 study session, city officials presented the master plan for the new park. A video of the study session can be found on Channel 6 The Link on YouTube.
The board approved nearly $345,000 funds be used for the project, including $39,750 for Lose Design and another $305,000 for the first phase of the park construction.
Of that $305,000 approved for phase one, $125,000 is available from two different Tennessee Department of Health grants. Ninety-five thousand dollars comes from the TDOH Access to Health through Healthy Built Environments, while $30,000 came a TDOH Project Diabetes grant.
The other $180,000 will come from “unobligated” funds available to the city from the 2017 municipal bond proceeds used to fund the new animal shelter and the new police station.
The first phase of the project includes the site work for the full parcel of land on which the park will sit, as well as the construction of one full basketball court and four half basketball courts with lights, according to the memo on the subject sent to the city board from Moody and Parks and Recreation Director Kurt Glick.
In total, the city estimates the park will cost a grand total of $2.5 million on the new park, though not all of it will come directly from the city coffers.
The memo from Glick and Moody says the city will “continue to seek grants for full development of the park.”
In fact, the city is awaiting a decision from a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Healthy Places program in February, the memo states. According to Community Development Coordinator Winston Brooks, the city requested the full $2.5 million from the grant.
That grant application also includes the naming rights to the park, according to Brooks, meaning if the city wins the full $2.5 million award, the park would bear the name “BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Place Park.”
The board also approved nearly $40,000 for Lose Design for “professional services” related to the engineering and bid processes of the project. The services include project management ($5,000), preliminary and electrical engineering ($10,800), “bid services ($3,200)” and “construction administration services ($8,500)” among others.
The timeline for the entire project is not yet set in stone and largely depends on if the city receives the BCBST grant, according to Moody.
Currently, the idea is to have Phase One of the project completed by June 2020. If the city receives the BCBST grant, the entire project is estimated to be completed by the spring of 2021.
If the city is not awarded the BCBST grant, that timeline could be extended in order to make room for more phases of the project.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.