Mayor Berke, Councilman Anderson, And Community Kick Off Construction Of New Park On Long-Vacant Site In Middle Of Alton Park

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Alton Park community leaders on Thursday afternoon joined Mayor Andy Berke, Councilman Chris Anderson, and other city and county officials to break ground at the former Charles A. Bell Elementary School site, kicking off construction that will turn a long-vacant site into a vibrant park and gathering place for the neighborhood.


“Parks impact quality of life in a number of ways, from helping make neighborhoods safer and more active to providing a place for kids to play and neighbors to meet and exchange ideas,” said Mayor Berke.

“Our investment in Alton Park will revitalize a long-vacant site, turning it into an attractive amenity that will help strengthen property values for the residents who proudly call Alton Park home.”


The former school closed in 1989. An eyesore and potential safety concern, the county-owned structure was finally demolished in 2011. After the city took over the site in 2014, Alton Park neighborhood leaders along with Councilman Chris Anderson and the City’s Department of Economic & Community Development held a community engagement process to create a new green space. It will enhance the vibrancy of the neighborhood and connect residents with options for recreation and gathering.


“It’s a great project for our neighborhood and really going to be an improvement to the community and good for our community. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad to see it’s on the way,” said Alton Park resident and neighborhood leader Rosemary Porter.


City officials shared renderings, which showed plans for a quarter-mile walking path, large open lawn for community activities, benches, and a large pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms, and drinking fountain.


The community has wanted this for years, and it's a project I've been working on since before I was even on the City Council. I'm so thrilled that we are finally able to make such a massive investment in Alton Park, and I will continue to work with area residents and leaders to bring more projects that lift up the community,” said Councilman Anderson, who represents District 7 where Alton Park is located.


At the groundbreaking, Councilman Anderson also gave an update on the naming process for the new park. A public input meeting to gather name ideas from community members is planned for Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Bethlehem Center. It is one of multiple public input sessions with community members who have been engaged in the development and design of the park.


Mayor Berke allocated $1 million in capital funds in Fiscal Year 2015 to transform the site, and in late December of 2016, the City Council approved a contract with P&C Construction, which was on-site today moving earth and digging footers for the new park. After weather delays, construction began in late January 2017 and is expected to be complete this summer. For more information, visit connect.chattanooga.gov/newpark.



Bryan College Freshman Qualifies For The 2018 Bassmaster Classic

All season long, as teammates on Bryan College’s bass fishing team, Jacob Foutz and Jake Lee worked well together. The college freshmen finished ninth in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops at Cherokee Lake, Tennessee.   Last week they really clicked, claiming the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented ... (click for more)

Free Public Education Class "Butterflies In Your Garden" Offered On Saturday

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County (MGHC), in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, will extend their outreach with a free class on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. The topic will be “Butterflies in Your Garden” presented by master gardener Beth Rice. MGHC classes take place at the UT Extension, Agricultural Service Center, 6183 Adamson Circle, located ... (click for more)

Deborah Cox Of Graysville Dies After Wreck On Jones Gap Road

One person who was in critical condition after a wreck on Jones Gap Road has died. The victim was identified as Deborah Cox, of Graysville, Tn.  Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies, along with HCEMS and fire personnel, worked the accident near the 13,300 block of Jones Gap Road. Due to the crash, north and southbound Jones Gap Road were closed for a lengthy ... (click for more)

Excitement Builds As Tennessee Valley Prepares For Monday's Eclipse

Sandra Nicholson, director of the Edu-Care Daycare Center on Signal Mountain, is as ready for  Monday’s  historic solar eclipse as she’s ever going to be. It took some doing, she said, but she has finally enough pairs of NASA-certified solar safety glasses for everyone in her family.  She’s just one of the tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley area residents ... (click for more)

Mayor Invites Civil War II - And Response (18)

I just received an email from the Mayor stating that he filed paperwork to remove the city of Chattanooga as the trustee for the Confederate Cemetery on Third Street. I understand the Mayor's intent was to distance the city from it's racist past and subsequent hate, but I feel like this is an interesting move without much thought of the consequences. The Mayor prefaced his ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The New Mean

Until last Monday I believed nobody could ever hurt my feelings again. In the half-century I have been a writer I’ve had hundreds of people take swipes at me, been called more names, and received more hate mail than you can imagine. I also know the only way anyone can hurt you is for you to allow it and, brother, it is nigh impossible to get inside me. My defense mechanism is because ... (click for more)