Monday night, the Oak Ridge City Council unanimously voted to approve the final designs of both the new city Preschool and the city’s new Senior Center.
In separate 7-0 votes, the Council gave its final approval to the designs for the approximately $9.8 million Preschool project and the roughly $3 million Senior Center. With those votes, Studio Four Design of Knoxville will be able to move on to the final construction designs for both projects.
The new Preschool will be located in Scarboro Park and the new Senior Center will be located in AK Bissell Park.
According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, money for the design funding was previously issued through debt financing, and the construction funding will be included in a bond funding package that will include the Senior Center and Preschool, as well as the Scarboro Park Rebuild that will be necessary due to the Preschool project.
Also on Monday, the Council unanimously approved an engineering contract for the Rails to Trails project, which could convert part a former CSX railroad into a bicycle and pedestrian pathway.
The consulting contract, worth an estimated $358,317, was awarded to A. Morton Thomas and Associates of Kingsport, according to Oak Ridge Today.
The company will conduct environmental testing, assist with master planning, design and engineering of the trail, and help with construction bidding.
City officials say there are still many hurdles before this proposal becomes a reality, including buying the former railroad, and the project might not go out to bid until May 2020, assuming all goes according to plan.