Fort Kid rebuild gets second public meeting

Paige M. TravisInside 640, Our Town Kids

Hedstrom Landscape Architects will unveil schematic drawings for a proposed new Fort Kid at a public meeting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at the Civic Auditorium. COVID-19 safeguards will be enforced: Wearing a mask and physical distancing of six feet.


City officials including Chip Barry, deputy chief operating officer, and Charles Lomax, community empowerment director, will be present, along with representatives from the Public Building Authority.

Community Television of Knoxville will live-stream the meeting at www.ctvknox.org or watch on television: Xfinity (Comcast) – Channel 12; Charter (Spectrum) – Channel 193; WOW! (Knology) – Channel 6; or AT&T U-verse – Channel 99.

Following the public meeting, schematic drawings will be posted at www.knoxvilletn.gov/fortkid.

Barry said nearly 400 people completed a survey asking about color schemes and which play structures and activities are most valued. The initial public meeting was March 12 at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Additional feedback from the upcoming July 16 public meeting will be considered as Fort Kid plans are finalized and construction gets underway. Comments also can be made by emailing communications@knoxvilletn.gov.

Architects are designing the new Fort Kid to be more inclusive, allowing more people to enjoy creative play at the park. The city anticipates reopening Fort Kid in spring 2021.

The 30-year-old Fort Kid wooden structure, built by volunteers, was removed to complete the demolition and removal of a decaying retaining wall and bad soils causing safety issues. A new grassy slope has been completed and provides unique design opportunities for a better connection between Fort Sanders, Fort Kid and the Knoxville Museum of Art.

The city of Knoxville designated $300,000 to prepare the site. Old City business owner Thomas Boyd, who played there as a kid, has donated $200,000 to the project. Info: www.knoxvilletn.gov/fortkid.

Paige Travis is a public information specialist for the city of Knoxville.

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