KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — City officials say construction on the new Public Safety Complex is on track and on budget.
The project, set to cost $46.5 million, sits on the site of the old Saint Mary’s Hospital. Crews are transforming existing space into a combined police, fire, city court and pension systems facility. That will be mostly be on the north end of the site.
Lincoln Memorial University will use the site of the Magdalen Clarke Tower for added classes.
Aside from original hospital, built in 1929, the rest of the site is basically open for development. Charles F. Lomax, Jr., the city director of community empowerment, said the space could be used in a variety of ways, including residential, commercial, and retail space.
He also highlighted the potential for partnerships the project provides. With the close proximity to Fulton High School, he sees a pipeline toward higher education with LMU, and a path toward law enforcement or fire fighting next door. He described the multi-pronged approach to the site as “smart growth,” which ensures a safer city and makes good use of the rest of the space on the site.
“This is going to be an empowering moment for the community, because it’s going to bring individuals into this space. It’s not going to be blighted or empty,” he said. “It’s going to add some vibrancy to this community.”
He also noted the modern upgrades and central location of the complex is a win for people throughout the city.
If you’d like regular updates, the City of Knoxville has dedicated an entire page to the project.