World's Fair Park vandalism costs Knoxville thousands

World's Fair Park vandalism costs Knoxville thousands

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One big problem is fencing that is all around the park being broken. The current fence around the splash is no longer made, so they have to custom make parts when people break them. One big problem is fencing that is all around the park being broken. The current fence around the splash is no longer made, so they have to custom make parts when people break them.
"I have seven guys that are fully busy this time of the year," Gallop said. "I have seven guys that are fully busy this time of the year," Gallop said.
Gallop also says in the past three years they have had to replace more than 70 of the plastic globes from the observation deck due to vandalism. Gallop also says in the past three years they have had to replace more than 70 of the plastic globes from the observation deck due to vandalism.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - One of the most visited parts of Knoxville is World's Fair Park, but recent vandalism has taken away from the park's beauty.

"Twenty percent to 30 percent of our time in the summer is vandalism," said Public Building Authority Zone Supervisor Chris Gallop. "Whether it be graffiti, breaking things, we have a lot of vandalism in the restrooms."

Gallop supervises maintenance for the park. He says employees work hard to keep the park nice.

"I have seven guys that are fully busy this time of the year," he said.

One big problem is broken fencing around the park. The current fence around the splash is no longer made, so city employees have to custom make parts when people break them.

There is also a big problem with people swimming in the pond in World's Fair Park. Even though no-swimming signs are posted, people continue to jump in for a swim.

There is a danger to swimmers of damaging the liner and of being electrocuted.

"Most of the leaks are due to damage from objects being thrown in," explained Gallop.

Another area of frequent vandalism is the Sunsphere.

People sometimes jump in the elevator, which causes it to become stuck. Despite surveillance cameras and signs, people continue to do it.

Gallop says in the past three years they have had to replace more than 70 of the plastic globes on signage in the observation deck due to vandalism.

6 News spoke with people in the park Tuesday who said they are noticing the damage.

"I came down here all the time to enjoy the water park and to enjoy watching the kids play," said park visitor Tineaka Eryor. "To see this it's tragic."

"Stop messing it up," said park visitor Jessica Ventura Cruz. "There is no reason to do that. We are all grown people."

Gallop says the city spends thousands of dollars each year fixing things people break.

"People need to be courteous," said Gallop. "Follow rules, not stand on rails, pick up after themselves, not throw trash around."

Despite having to repair the vandalism, city officials are also making a lot of improvements to the park as well.

They are about to replace the wood covering over the orchestra box at the amphitheater. It has not been replaced since it was installed in 1982.

A new pump for one of the water features was also recently installed.

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