Knoxville City Council has authorized Mayor Indya Kincannon to proceed with a nearly $1 million project to build 1,300 linear feet of sidewalk, curb, a retaining wall and drainage infrastructure along the east side of Texas Avenue between Western Avenue and Gerald Drive.
The new sidewalk will connect two existing sidewalks and provide a safe pedestrian walkway in the heart of Lonsdale. The work is being done by Morgan Contracting, selected as the most responsive bidder of the five companies that submitted contract proposals. The regional company was founded in Knoxville in 1989 by Larry Morgan Sr. and his two sons. It has offices at 900 Dutch Valley Drive.
The city-funded new sidewalk is a part of the more than $30 million being invested in public-private collaborations in Lonsdale designed to create new youth- and family-serving amenities and opportunities.
Those investments include a new Lonsdale Elementary School now under construction, a newly-designed city park and the Emerald Youth Foundation Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex at 1740 Texas Ave.
As part of a swap of properties and shared funding commitments, Knox County assumed ownership of the city’s Lonsdale Park and Recreation Center on Stonewall Street. Knox County Schools used the property to build a new larger Lonsdale Elementary School, approximately a $20 million investment.
The new school will include dedicated space for a new city recreation center with access to a full-sized gymnasium.
As part of the strategic planned investment, the Sam E. Hill property on Delaware Street will be transferred to the city by Knox County. Once the new Lonsdale Elementary School is built and Sam E. Hill is vacated, the city will create a new park and a community meeting space there. The city is working with the Lonsdale community on the design of this new park space.
The Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex, opened in December 2019, represents a $10 million private investment to create new opportunities for the families of Lonsdale.
The complex includes two multipurpose synthetic turf fields and a 36,000-plus-square-foot multipurpose facility with a learning center, two full-size gymnasiums with basketball courts and a fitness area, as well as a community health center operated in partnership with Cherokee Health Systems.
Eric Vreeland is deputy director of communications for the city of Knoxville.