South Knox County BMX track, athletic field still on track, despite being over budget

Local News

A planned BMX track and athletic field project at South Doyle Middle School is still moving forward, despite being projected to be hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget.

“The BMX track is a great project and an excellent reuse of the old stadium but has turned out to be a different challenge than our normal park projects,” Knox County Parks and Recreation Director Doug Bataille said in a news release. “We anticipated some renovations, while others were unanticipated. We planned to do many of the repairs with our staff, but once we saw how complicated the design process was, as well as the ADA issues in the stadium, we asked the Public Building Authority to assist us.”

The project was initially projected to cost $750,000, which was included in Mayor Tim Burchett’s fiscal year 2018 budget. Officials are still working on estimates, but the project is expected to cost hundreds of thousands more due to unanticipated needs and increased constriction costs.

“Unfortunately, the estimate I provided the mayor and that he ultimately provided to Commission was incomplete and did not take into account various necessary costs,” Bataille said. “While I regret that this happened, I hope that, once completed, this track will attract a national competition, which could bring $1.3 million in economic impact to the local economy. I take responsibility for this mistake.”

The Public Building Authority, along with the Knox County Engineering and Public Works, is taking over the project. Bataille says the project is still a good value when compared with other projects around the country. He says one track in Rock Hill, S.C., cost $6.5 million, and another in Georgia was $2.35 million.

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