UT Arboretum announces plans for indoor facility

UT Arboretum announces plans for indoor facility

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Officials unveil architectural drawings and a floor plan of the facility. Officials unveil architectural drawings and a floor plan of the facility.
An architectural drawing shows the building to be built on the arboretum grounds in Oak Ridge. (source: UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center) An architectural drawing shows the building to be built on the arboretum grounds in Oak Ridge. (source: UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center)

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - University of Tennessee and local officials saw the unveiling Tuesday of plans for an indoor auditorium to be built at UT's arboretum in Oak Ridge.

The building will provide much needed indoor space for educational and instructional programs. 

"The auditorium will build on the legacy of the magnificent facility that we have, enabling us to have indoor programming, indoor social events, indoor educational outreach," said Kevin Hoyt, the director of the UT Forest Resources Research and Education Center. "It's something that we don't have right now."

Hoyt says the auditorium will also allow the arboretum to expand its programs and grow its outreach efforts.

"It's a much-needed facility to expand our programming efforts and it really is a catalyst to move us forward on developing membership, developing outreach into the community, sponsoring or hosting corporate retreats, weddings, just a multitude of activities that we don't have right now because we don't even have bathrooms right now at this outside facility."

The building will contain a commercial kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Officials hope to break ground for construction in six to 12 months.

Corporate and private donations have been collected for several years to raise funds for the project.

The 250-acre arboretum is located at 901 South Illinois on the edge of Oak Ridge. The site contains about seven miles of hiking trails with more than 3,000 specimens of trees and woody shrubs.

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