Knoxville leaders look for public input on Lakeshore park plans

Knoxville leaders look for public input on Lakeshore park plans

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The park already has a number of fields and walking trails available. The park already has a number of fields and walking trails available.
"It's just important for a gathering place for kids to be able to be in a safe place to gather, be able to play games," park visitor Kelly McCarley said. "It's just important for a gathering place for kids to be able to be in a safe place to gather, be able to play games," park visitor Kelly McCarley said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville city leaders held a public meeting Monday evening at Sacred Heart Cathedral to discuss plans on the future of Lakeshore Park.

"You can do all kinds of things," Director of Coaching for Knox Crush Scott Muir told 6 News. "You can put in more pavilions and more park areas."

Muir said his teams use Lakeshore Park all the time and they're hoping to see an investment in more athletic fields.

"There's plenty of area out here to put a lot of athletic fields," Muir said. "It's a good way for the city to make some money, hotels, and things like that."

The city is in the process of taking over the entire former Lakeshore Mental Health Institute grounds after the state voted to turn over ownership last year.

The space is home to baseball, softball and soccer fields along with walking paths that run along Fort Loudon Lake.

"It's just important for a gathering place for kids to be able to be in a safe place to gather, be able to play games," park visitor Kelly McCarley said.

Deputy to Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Bill Lyons, said there are still some buildings that need to be demolished.

"Folks from all over the city and outside the city use it and we just see it becoming a real jewel in the entire park system," Lyons said.

More than one million people visit the 180-acre park each year and during Monday's meeting the city said around 3,000 people use the trails each day.

"It's a big area," Muir said. "There's a lot that you can do with it."

Lyons said the city is hoping to narrow down the plans for changes by the fall though it's unclear how long the renovation process will last.

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