Oak Ridge building bathrooms, changing rooms at Melton Lake Park

Oak Ridge Marina Bathrooms

Workers build a block wall, patch and texture the ceiling, and hang drywall for new bathrooms and changing rooms in part of the former New China Palace restaurant at Melton Lake Park.

One section of a former Chinese restaurant at Melton Lake Park has already been converted into a rental shop for kayaks and bikes.

Now, another part of the city-owned building at the Oak Ridge Marina is being converted into public restrooms and changing rooms for big events. The bathrooms, which will be open to the public, could open next month.

It’s one of the steps in implementing a waterfront development plan approved by Oak Ridge City Council in December 2009. That plan included such features as a new picnic pavilion, walking trails, new playground, permanent restrooms, enhanced lighting and landscaping, outdoor casual dining, and recreational equipment rental.

The bathrooms will include multiple stalls, and the city will open the changing rooms for large events, such as regattas (rowing races). That will double the restroom capacities, said Pat Fallon, operations and maintenance manager for the Oak Ridge Public Works Department. [Read more...]

Adventures Outdoors rents kayaks, bikes at Oak Ridge Marina

Kayaks under Melton Lake Drive

Above, kayaks from Adventures Outdoors are taken through a tunnel under Melton Lake Drive. (Photos courtesy Karen Lloyd)

Adventures Outdoors is open again, renting kayaks, bicycles, and stand up paddle boards at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The company has a new, larger, remodeled home inside part of the former New China Palace restaurant on the waterfront and a new five-year lease with the city, said Karen Lloyd, Adventures Outdoors owner.

Adventures Outdoors has 20 kayaks, including boats for one and two people, a new kayak launching dock, and five-person pedal boats. The rentals includes bikes for adults and children, as well as Trikkes, which are three-wheeled “carving vehicles.”

Lloyd said Adventures Outdoors opened for the season on April 1 and will remain open through Oct. 31. [Read more...]

Photos: SIRA Regatta at Oak Ridge Marina


The 2014 Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta was at the Oak Ridge Marina on Friday and Saturday. Here are photos from the regatta on Saturday.

It was the 46th annual SIRA regatta. Results from the Friday and Saturday races are available on the SIRA website.

A video of Friday’s races are available on the USRowing YouTube channel here, and Saturday’s races are available here. [Read more...]

Kerry Trammell Memorial 5k Run/Walk at Oak Ridge Marina on May 4

Kerry Trammell Memorial 5K Logo

The Kerry Trammell Memorial 5k Run and Walk will start at 8 a.m. May 4 at the Oak Ridge Marina.

Proceeds of this year’s race will go toward the purchase and installation of emergency mile markers on the Melton Lake Greenway. The mile markers will be placed every .10 miles and coordinated with 911, and Trammell’s name will be placed on each.

The course starts on the Oak Ridge Marina peninsula and runs on Melton Lake Drive and along the water on the Melton Lake Greenway. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge’s Rotary clubs to host dragon boat races May 31

Penny Behling Dragon Boat Steerer

The three Rotary clubs of Oak Ridge are combining forces to launch the inaugural Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Festival, to be held Saturday, May 31, at the Oak Ridge Marina and Pavilion in Melton Lake Park.

“The purpose of the festival is to provide a venue for dragon boat races, offer food and musical entertainment and raise funds for nonprofit service organizations in the community,” said Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson, president of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge.

The boat-racing event will celebrate Oak Ridge’s waterfront and signature rowing venue. The other two clubs are the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary and Oak Ridge Sunset Rotary clubs.

A dragon boat is a long, low boat adorned with a snarling dragonhead at the boat’s front end, as in the Chinese tradition. Dragon boat races have become popular events in many U.S. cities, ranging in size from Philadelphia to Knoxville.

This all-day Dragon Boat Festival race will be an entertaining competition among teams of 20 persons each—18 paddlers, a caller, and a steerer. The teams will come from community employers and organizations, some of which are signing up to become corporate sponsors of the event. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge Research Park spring nature walks begin Sunday

Four nature walks hosted by the Oak Ridge Research Park are scheduled this spring in various areas of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation.

The public is invited to join these walks, which showcase the rich flora and fauna diversity, as well as the sustainable management and conservation practices of the area.

The schedule for the spring nature walks is as follows: [Read more...]

Martial Arts forum at RSCC Oak Ridge campus on Wednesday

Representatives from Progressive Martial Arts of Oak Ridge will demonstrate martial arts skills and discuss the development of Filkenjutsu, the field of martial arts practiced at PMA, during a forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (today).

The forum will be held in the City Room at Roane State’s Oak Ridge campus. The forum is free, and the public is invited. It’s presented by Roane State’s Social Science, Business, and Education Division.

Bruce Corrigan and his sons, Nick and David, will lead the demonstration. Bruce Corrigan has more than 30 years’ experience in martial arts and is certified to teach a variety of disciplines. He founded Progressive Martial Arts and taught Nick and David. [Read more...]

Oak Ridge loses first Battle of Solway Bridge, but coach vows victory next year

Hardin Valley High Jump

Hardin Valley won the trophy in the Battle of the Solway Bridge with Oak Ridge on Tuesday, but Oak Ridge Coach Allen Etheridge is already planning a victory next year.

Oak Ridge coach vows victory next year; Tuesday’s results posted below

Hardin Valley Academy won the trophy at the first Battle of the Solway Bridge track meet in Oak Ridge on Tuesday, but Wildcats Coach Allen Etheridge is already planning a victory at the second annual event.

“We’re planning two victory laps at HVA next year!” Etheridge joked in a Wednesday morning e-mail.

The Battle of the Solway Bridge at Ben Martin Track on Tuesday pitted two track powers against each other one-on-one.

“We will line up our best people in our best events against theirs,” Etheridge said before the meet. On Tuesday, Etheridge said dual meets like the Battle of the Solway Bridge are unusual. Most track meets feature five to 25 teams and sometimes more. [Read more...]

Battle of the Solway Bridge track meet in Oak Ridge on Tuesday

Ben Martin Track

The Ben Martin Track at Oak Ridge High School is pictured above.

Oak Ridge will host the first annual Battle of the Solway Bridge at the Ben Martin Track on Tuesday.

“This dual meet against Hardin Valley Academy pits two track powers against each other 1-1,” Oak Ridge Coach Allen Etheridge said. “We will line up our best people in our best events against theirs.

“There’s a gaudy 36-inch trophy for the winner.”

The field events start at 5 p.m., and track events begin at 6 p.m.

Butterflies for Hope for lupus research at Hot Bagel on Saturday

Butterflies for Hope at Hot Bagel 2012

Riders in Butterflies for Hope at Hot Bagel in April 2012.

Butterflies for Hope, a benefit for lupus research, starts Saturday morning at Hot Bagel in Oak Ridge.

Registration for the bike rides begin at 8:30 a.m. with bagels and coffee. The 50- and 62-mile bike rides start at 10 a.m., and the 20-mile ride begins at 10:15 a.m.

Kent Bostick, who has won many national titles, will lead the race with his wife Rhonda, a press release said.

There will be free food and drinks after the ride beginning at 1:30 p.m.

Butterflies for Hope is for research on lupus, an auto-immune disease that affects joints and organs. More than 35,000 Tennesseans are battling this disease and hoping that a cure can be found, the press release said.

Several hundred compete in Ben Martin Middle School track meet

Ben Martin Invitational

Several hundred students from five regional middle schools, including Jefferson and Robertsville, competed in the Ben Martin Middle School Invitational track meet in Oak Ridge on Thursday.

Several hundred students from five middle schools competed in the first-ever Ben Martin Middle School Invitational track meet in Oak Ridge on Thursday.

The meet was named after Ben Martin, a legendary Sports Hall of Fame coach who won seven state championships as track coach at Oak Ridge High School. Thursday’s meet was at Ben Martin Track at the high school.

Martin was the first ORHS track and football coach, and he won championships in both sports and began the entire athletic program at the high school, ORHS Cross Country Coach Allen Etheridge said.

“I talked with longtime Oak Ridge coach Winston Russell today, who told me that he remembered coach Martin as the guy who was always there, the guy who would coach anyone at any time,” Etheridge said Monday. “(Martin) was an assistant football coach and was head basketball coach.”

Athletes from Cherokee, Jefferson, Karns, Rhea County, and Robertsville middle schools competed in Thursday’s meet, which included events ranging from relays and hurdles to long jumps and high jumps. [Read more...]

ORHS cross country hosts middle school track meets named for legendary coaches

On Thursday, the Oak Ridge High School cross country teams will host the first ever Ben Martin Middle School Invitational track meet at the Ben Martin Track at ORHS. The meet will include eight teams. Each event will contain two heats, and a new FinishLynx fully automatic timing system will be used to time them. Field events start at 4:30 p.m., and the meet begins at about 5:45 p.m.

“This is a great step for ORHS middle school track,” Coach Allen Etheridge said.

The teams will do the same on Thursday, April 10, at the Jim McNamee Middle School Invitational.

“We named these meets after two legendary Sports Hall of Fame coaches because they are important to the history of athletics at Oak Ridge High School,” Etheridge said. “Coach Martin was the first ORHS track and football coach who won championships in both sports and began the entire athletic program at ORHS. Coach Mac won eight state titles in cross country and one in girls track before retiring in 2004. We aim to do both coaches proud by hosting a top-quality track and field meet.”