Knoxville unveiling Fort Kid renovation plans at July 16 public meeting

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The next evolution of the beloved Fort Kid playground will be unveiled July 16 at a meeting with the city, Public Building Authority and Hedstrom Landscape Architects.

The public meeting will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium. Community Television of Knoxville will also be live-streaming the meeting.

The meeting presentation and renderings of the schematic drawings will be posted after the meeting at www.knoxvilletn.gov/fortkid.

At the March 12 Fort Kid public meeting at the Knoxville Museum of Art, attendees were shown images from existing playgrounds in other cities as possible inspiration for what the playground might look like. At that time, a community survey was initiated, asking about color scheme preferences and which elements and play activities are most valued.

“We were pleased to have nearly 400 people complete the survey, and the responses have helped guide the design process,” Deputy Chief Operating Officer Chip Barry said.

The 30-year-old Fort Kid play structure was removed to complete the demolition and removal of a decaying retaining wall and bad soils causing safety issues. A new grassy slope has already been completed.

The architects are designing the new Fort Kid play structure to be more inclusive, allowing more people to enjoy creative play at the park. Construction is set to begin later this year and the new playground is set to open in spring 2021.

The city designated $300,000 to prepare the site. Old City business owner Thomas Boyd donated $200,000 to the project.

Additional feedback from the July 16 meeting will be considered as plans for the playground are finalized and construction gets under way. Comments also can be made through the City Communications Department by emailing communications@knoxvilletn.gov.

COVID-19 safeguards at the public meeting will be enforced and wearing a mask and physical distancing will be mandatory. You can find more information at www.knoxvilletn.gov/fortkid.

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