For the past several months, Emerald Youth Foundation has sought approval from multiple public entities to build a new neighborhood multipurpose complex for youth in the heart of the Lonsdale community.
Thus far, the project has received approval from the Knox County Board of Education, the Knox County Commission, and will seek approval by Knoxville City Council later this month at the meeting slated for Oct. 24.
The complex will be situated on land along Texas Avenue between Stonewall and Sherman Streets, currently owned by the city of Knoxville, as well as a portion of property next to Sam E. Hill Preschool adjacent to Lonsdale Homes. The complex will be a connection point for youth and community development in a neighborhood that has been under-resourced for decades, according to John Crooks of Emerald Youth Foundation.
Pending approval by the city council, the land will be purchased and developed into an approximately $8 million-dollar multipurpose facility and sports complex funded by the personal foundations of Elisabeth and Bill Sansom and Dee and Jimmy Haslam. In addition to purchasing the land itself, each family foundation will contribute roughly half the construction costs. The property will then be leased to Emerald Youth for $1 a year.