KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Phase two of a multimillion-dollar expansion plan to Knoxville’s Lakeshore Park began Tuesday. The improvements are based on the updated master plan for Lakeshore Park.
The Lakeshore Park Conservancy broke ground on the project Tuesday. For the first part of Phase 2, a new baseball complex, pickleball courts, a basketball court, a sports green, a seating area for small meetings, and walkways to the soccer area and parking will be built.
Additional improvements include a 35-foot high sculptural mound, a new playground, three new pavilions, relocating parts of the perimeter walking trail, renovation of the Hecht Pavilion restrooms and new parking.
A $35 million donation from the Haslam family is providing the majority of funding for the project. The City of Knoxville also is supporting Phase 2 by providing the funds for roads and parking. According to Mayor Indya Kincannon, Lakeshore is Knoxville’s largest and most visited park.
“It really gives visitors other opportunities to engage in the park. Adding pickleball and basketball and the fitness area just brings in other people who may have not visited the park before,” said Julieanne Foy, Executive Director of the Lakeshore Park Conservancy said.
Construction for the first part of Phase 2 is expected to be complete by early 2024. During construction, some areas of the park will be closed and the Northshore entrance road will be closed for several months.
“The perimeter trail and other areas of the park near the construction zone can only stay open if park visitors read the signs and follow the rules,” Foy said.
The previous phase of construction began in 2015 with the construction of the Hank Rappe Playground and ended in 2020 with the completion of the HGTV Overlook.