Evans to give update on Oak Ridge mall redevelopment Tuesday

Oak Ridge Mall

The Oak Ridge City Center, which could be redeveloped as a multi-use town center known as Main Street, is pictured above. Also known as the former Oak Ridge Mall, the L-shaped building is at center. The white building at center left is Walmart, and it is not part of the proposed redevelopment. Neither is the white building at center top, the Tinseltown Theater. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


Ray Evans, retail consultant for the City of Oak Ridge, will give an update on the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall during a lunchtime meeting on Tuesday.

Main Street Oak Ridge could redevelop the mall, now officially known as the Oak Ridge City Center, as a 60-acre mixed-use project that would include retailers, restaurants, a hotel, and residential units. The vacant enclosed space between the two remaining anchors, JCPenney and Belk, would be demolished, although those two stores would remain.

The goal has been to complete the first phase of the redevelopment in time for the Christmas season in 2016. [Read more…]

TORCH, Blossom Center have spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday

Torch Logo

Trinity Outreach Center for Hope, or TORCH, and the Blossom Center will have a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, October 3, at Grace Covenant Church.

The church is located at 320 Robertsville Road in Oak Ridge. Dine-in or carry out will be available between 5 to 8 p.m.

Tickets prices for adults are $10, children $5, and $25 for families, and they will be available at the door and in advance at Ruby Miller’s State Farm office, which is at 574 Oak Ridge Turnpike. (Telephone (865) 483-5663.)

Those who want to purchase tickets online may do so by sending a message to Blossom Center for Childhood Excellence Inc. or Creed Mushimbo on Facebook. [Read more…]

Atomic City Classic Car Show on Saturday

Atomic City Car and Bike Show

The fundraising Atomic City Classic Car Show is on Saturday, October 3. The rain date is October 10.

All proceeds will benefit Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. The car show is sponsored by Atomic Speed Shop.

It’s scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Midtown Community Center (the Wildcat Den) at 102 Robertsville Road in Oak Ridge. It is expected to include classic cars, trucks, street rods, motorcycles, and motor scooters up to 1975.

Dash plaques for each entry, people’s choice awards in each class, and door prizes will be given away. Barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, and sodas will be sold. [Read more…]


AC Events: Pickin’ in the Park, Wheelers for the Wounded, David Hall Cabin open house

Here are three events happening in Anderson County this weekend:

Pickin’ in the Park Concert—Friday, October 2, at Norris Dam State Park

Join the Friends of Norris Dam State Park for the annual Pickin’ in the Park Concert held the first Friday of October from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. This event is an evening full of bluegrass music, barbecue, local craft vendors, laughter, and fun, organizers said.

The event is located at the historic amphitheater and tearoom on the east side of Norris Dam State Park. There is no entrance fee, but donations to the Friends of Norris Dam are strongly encouraged.

If you have any questions, call the park office at (865) 426-7461.

Wheelers for the Wounded—October 3 at Windrock Park [Read more…]

ORAU exceeds $100,000 in annual giving campaign for eighth year in a row

ORAU 2015 Annual Giving Campaign

The 2015 ORAU Annual Giving Campaign Chair Arlene Garrison, pictured right, Co-Chair Don Hanlon, pictured left, and ORAU President and CEO Andy Page reveal ORAU’s combined giving total of $127,404.42. (Photo courtesy ORAU)


For the eighth year in a row, ORAU has broken the $100,000 mark in donations as part of the annual giving campaign for the United Way and Community Shares.

During a concluding ceremony on September 29 in the ORAU Pollard Technology Conference Center, ORAU President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Page announced the 2015 ORAU Annual Giving Campaign total donation amount: $127,404.42.

As part of the total donation, ORAU and its employees pledged $97,835.18 to the United Way and $29,569.24 to Community Shares.

Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Alexander Guest House renovation restores grandeur at historic hotel

Alexander Guest House Ballroom and Cafeteria Sept. 23, 2015

The ballroom and cafeteria area is pictured above at the Alexander Guest House, which converted the beloved but long-vacant Alexander Inn hotel into an assisted living center. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


It’s been a dream for years, and now the preservation and transformation of the former Alexander Inn is nearly complete.

The two-year, $8 million construction and renovation project is almost finished, and Alexander Guest House could open as an assisted living facility in about two weeks, said Rick Dover of Dover Development of East Tennessee.

Sixty percent of the 64 apartments are already reserved, Executive Director Jody Daugherty said during a media tour Wednesday. Among those who will live there are Jean Stone of Oak Ridge and Dean Ford of Oliver Springs. They participated in the media tour on Wednesday.

“I think they’ve done a remarkable job of restoring it to its grandeur,” said Stone, a longtime Oak Ridge resident who has “many fine memories” of parties, weddings, wedding receptions, and club meetings, among other events, at the historic two-story hotel. “Once I saw what they’re doing here, I wanted to come here. I think it will be a lovely place to live. It’s absolutely tremendous.”

The historic two-story hotel was built as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, and top scientists and dignitaries once stayed there. [Read more…]

Altrusa: Cross country with a woman behind the wheel

Josee Tousignant

Josee Tousignant

The new owner and operator of Curves, a fitness center for women in Oak Ridge, will discuss her previous work as a cross-country truck driver during an Altrusa meeting on Wednesday.

Josee Paquin Tousignant will discuss “what entices a woman to choose a cross-country truck driving job,” a press release said.

The Altrusa of Oak Ridge meeting is at lunchtime Wednesday at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Tousignant is a French-Canadian woman from a small town northwest from Montreal, a press release said. She comes from a family of four siblings: two girls and two boys, all of whom became truck drivers at some point in their lives. [Read more…]

ORHPA to give historic preservation award to former Lakewood Hall

Lakewood Hall

This year, the selection of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association’s Historic Preservation Award is Lakewood Hall. This historic building is occupied by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 270. Located on Lincoln Circle, this building in 1945 was headquarters for the Special Engineer Detachment. (Photo courtesy ORHPA)


A nonprofit organization will present a historic preservation award to the owners of the former Lakewood Hall on Lincoln Circle on Monday.

The presentation is at 11 a.m. Monday, September 21, at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union building on Lincoln Circle.

The presentation has been organized by the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association, or ORHPA.

The award will be given to the IBEW Union Local 270, owners of the former Lakewood Hall. [Read more…]

Street Painting Festival on Oct. 3 at Roane State in Oak Ridge

Love Reject

In 2014, Ouita Northcutt received the People’s Choice Award and first-place award in the professional artists category for her chalk painting on love and rejection at the Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival. (Submitted photo)


Artists of all ages and abilities, it’s time to “talk the talk, then chalk the walk.”

And you folks who wish to help people in their 20s who otherwise cannot afford to go to college without a scholarship are encouraged to “write checks for chalk art” as sponsors to make our workforce smarter.

Artists are encouraged to invite your artist friends to the Roane State Community College campus in Oak Ridge to showcase your talents for free while helping others get an education.

Artists and sponsors are needed for the 16th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival, which will be held on Saturday, October 3, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the sidewalks of the RSCC Oak Ridge campus on Briarcliff Road. The rain date is October 4. [Read more…]

Atomic City car, bike show to benefit historic group on Oct. 3

Atomic City Car and Bike Show

A car and bike show on October 3 will benefit the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association.

ORHPA plans to use the proceeds to repair the Midtown Community Center, also known as the Wildcat Den, on Robertsville Road.

“Few of the 1940s Manhattan Project buildings remain standing in Oak Ridge,” organizers said. “The goal of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association is to preserve our past. This is our history!” [Read more…]

Kern United Methodist presents The Shine Effect in concert Sunday

The Shine Effect


Kern United Methodist Church presents Christian rock band The Shine Effect in concert on Sunday.

The concert starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, September 20, during reViVe@5. It’s a free all-ages concert.

Organizers said child care will be provided for kids under age 4. Light snacks will be provided.

Find out more at kernchurch.org. [Read more…]

Photos: Jackson Square parking lot work continues Thursday

Jackson Square Fountain and Landscaping

New landscaping is in the foreground and the interactive fountain is in the background at Jackson Square as construction continued on the $1 million parking lot renovation on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (Photo by John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today)


The $1 million renovation of the Jackson Square parking lot continued Thursday, with the goal of finishing the project in time for Taste of Anderson County on Saturday.

Construction started in January on what has turned into one of the most closely watched projects in Oak Ridge. Work is funded with help from a $741,609 Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the city in June 2012. The TDOT grant covers 80 percent of the work, and it requires a 20 percent city match.

The work is reported to be the first major renovation at Jackson Square in 70 years. It includes a landscaped pedestrian plaza with parking, an interactive fountain, stone pavers, curbing, asphalt paving, utilities, benches, sidewalks, and upgrades under the American with Disabilities Act. [Read more…]