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|Knoxville School Board Weighing Options for New Track
|The desire for a new track in the Knoxville School District appears to be nearly unanimous, and now the District 202 School Board has to figure out how to get it done.
Several residents of the district attended Wednesday night's school board meeting, where the main topic of discussion was whether or not to consider putting in an all-weather track, where, and how to pay for it.
Knoxville resident and former board member Shane Larson brought the issue to the board last month after a proposal about three years ago on 12-acres of property owned by the district on Gilson Street didn't work out. Larson, also attended Wednesday night's meeting, suggested building the track at the site of the current football stadium. The estimated cost is around $500,000.
Knoxville Alderwoman Bernadine Fleischer told the gathering that the city's water and sewer department determined that a new track at the football field would not be feasible because of buried storm and sanitary sewer lines and the fill that would go on top of them.
Larson, an engineer, disagreed, saying the fill wouldn't cause any problems with access.
"My contention would be there is that you're going to increase the fill on top of those pipes by about two feet," Larson said. "It's pretty insignificant when you're taking about accessing them."
The board received a letter from the district's attorney Shayne Aldridge, who reviewed the process and spelled out the legal aspects and risks associated with it. The use of a certain amount of taxpayer dollars - like money from the school district or possible TIF funds from the city - requires a state-imposed bidding process for labor. Larson previously said union labor would volunteer to do the work and provide equipment, with only materials needing to be paid for.
The board agreed to further review what Aldridge had to say in the letter and made no decision about the track.
A straw poll showed that everyone at the meeting was in favor of the Gilson Street property, which has a lot more room. Larson says he's not opposed to building at that location - he just wants to see the project get done, a statement echoed by many others at the meeting.
|10 22 09 by Newsroom
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