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|Knoxville School Board to Approach City Council About Supporting Proposed Track
|District 202 School Board members all appear to be on board with building a new all-weather track for Knoxville's students, and where to locate it will ultimately boil down to dollars and cents.
Five members of the school board and the school district's attorney, Shayne Aldridge, got together during a special meeting Wednesday night to go over some of the legal do's and don'ts for the proposed track and to formulate a plan.
The board is prepared to vote on a resolution for the track during another special meeting Monday night at 6:00, then attend that evening's Knoxville City Council meeting to ask for financial backing. Board members hope the district can secure a sizable amount of Tax Increment Financing money by appealing to the city council and stressing how the track would benefit both the district and the community.
Board members say they have the commitment of volunteer union labor, which would help keep costs down. Aldridge told the board the entire project - because it would cost over $25,000 - needs to be bid to be in compliance with the state's bid statute.
Aldridge says, however, it can be bid in phases. "You have a contractor who's providing services and materials, and one contractor who's providing it in phase one, somebody else in phase two, and somebody else in phase three, but you've put it out there for public bid -- the entire project -- but with the understanding that it's phase one, phase two, phase three," Aldridge said.
Aldridge says at that point the district would let the contractors divide it up.
The board came up with rough cost estimates of $550,000 to build the track at its existing location, and around $750,000 on 12-acres of property the district owns on Gilson Street. The extra cost would eventually include things like restrooms, a concession stand and storage.
Board members John Putnam and Hillard Byom both acknowledged they prefer to build where the current outdated track sits - but if the city of Knoxville is willing to contribute a substantial chunk of money - they would agree to build on Gilson Street.
|10 29 09 by Newsroom
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