Knox County breaks ground on Karns Senior Center

Knox County breaks ground on Karns Senior Center

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The ground breaking of the Karns Senior Center has been a long time coming. County officials held a ceremony celebrating the groundbreaking Wednesday at the Knox County Sportspark off Oak Ridge Highway where the center will be built. The ground breaking of the Karns Senior Center has been a long time coming. County officials held a ceremony celebrating the groundbreaking Wednesday at the Knox County Sportspark off Oak Ridge Highway where the center will be built.
Every morning you can find a group of retirees sitting over biscuits and coffee at the Hardees in Karns, talking about everything from canning to gardening to local issues. Every morning you can find a group of retirees sitting over biscuits and coffee at the Hardees in Karns, talking about everything from canning to gardening to local issues.
By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The ground breaking of the Karns Senior Center has been a long time coming. County officials held a ceremony celebrating the groundbreaking Wednesday at the Knox County Sportspark off Oak Ridge Highway where the center will be built.

The idea started almost a decade ago, with a group of seniors simply looking for a place to go. 

Previous story: Karns Senior Center coming to Knox County Sportspark

Every morning you can find a group of retirees sitting over biscuits and coffee at the Hardee's in Karns, talking about everything from canning to gardening to local issues.

“Matter of fact we even gave ourselves a name, it’s the ROMEO club, retired old men eating out, is what that means, so we do meet and we do eat out and we solve problems,” said Bill McCoig.

One of those problems was a lack of a senior center. It was an idea born at one of their meetings.

“This was a place we could meet, lots of early risers,” explained McCoig.

But now their dream of a place of their own is coming to fruition.

Many members of group attended Wednesday’s groundbreaking.

“Makes us feel a sense of pride,” McCoig says about watching his county officials ceremonially break ground. Construction will soon be underway with an opening date of January 2015.

As a member of the Karns community, its been a goal of county commissioner Brad Anders since he took office.

“[The center] has a long term health effect, a positive health effect on them it’s important for Knox County have things from cradle to grave for our citizens to make their lives better,” said Anders.

The center will feature a computer lab, exercise room, auditorium and craft room. Located in the Sportspark, there is plenty of parking and flat ground making access easy.

For McCoig though, the key is it will be a place to gather, a place similar to their table at Hardee’s but on a larger scale. It’s a dream their excited to see come to reality.

“We always knew it would, we just hoped it would be before we all died. We’ve only lost one or two but they’re looking down on us and the senior center and I’m sure they’re proud of what we did,” McCoig said.

The $1.2 million center will be the sixth senior center in Knox County and is expected to serve hundreds of people each year.                        

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