Council to consider Preschool paint, special events task force

Oak Ridge Preschool and School Administration Building

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday will consider using $150,000 in unspent red-light camera money to repair the lead-based paint on the Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building on New York Avenue. Officials say the building needs to be renovated or vacated for the Head Start program to receive funding in the 2015-2016 school year. (File photo) 

 

Mark Watson

Mark Watson

The Oak Ridge City Council tonight will consider using $150,000 in red-light camera money to repair the lead-based paint on the city’s Preschool, providing what officials hope will be a temporary fix while they develop a plan to permanently repair, replace, or move the Preschool.

Officials say the building needs to be renovated or vacated for the Head Start program to receive federal funding in the 2015-2016 school year. They are hopeful that their plan to fix the lead-based paint on the decades-old home of the Preschool on New York Avenue by August 3 will satisfy federal officials. A remediation plan could be submitted to federal officials and Anderson County education officials by March 4.

On January 26, the Oak Ridge Board of Education recommended a few first steps that could have children in a new building next year. In addition to asking the city to repair the lead-based paint, the BOE unanimously recommended a new committee be formed to help lay the groundwork for moving into a new preschool by the 2016-2017 school year.

The Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building is owned by the city, and the municipal staff would lead the repair project. [Read more…]

Happy 71st birthday, Oak Ridge!

Oak Ridge Birthday Sign

A sign at the Midtown Community Center on Robertsville Road celebrates the 71st birthday of Oak Ridge on Thursday (Submitted photo)

By Martin and Anne McBride

On Sept. 19, 1942, only two days after being appointed the head of the Manhattan Project in September 1942, Gen. Leslie R. Groves selected Oak Ridge as the first major site of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs during World War II.

Ultimately, $1.1 billion was spent on the huge, first-of-a-kind Oak Ridge nuclear plants and the fledgling “Secret City” of Oak Ridge. This expenditure represented 72 percent of the money spent on the three principal Manhattan Project sites: Oak Ridge; Hanford, Wash.; and Los Alamos, N.M.

The Oak Ridge tract was approximately 17 miles long by an average of seven miles wide. The Corps of Engineers paid $2.6 million dollars for the land and initially named the site the “Kingston Demolition Range.” Local opposition to having a demolition range in the area caused the name to be changed to “Clinton Engineer Works.” [Read more…]

Historic preservation awards to be presented to bank, school Thursday

CapitalMark Bank and Trust

CapitalMark Bank and Trust Oak Ridge President David Bradshaw is pictured at the original Hamilton National Bank vault. (Submitted photo)

A nonprofit organization will present this year’s historic preservation awards on Thursday, Oak Ridge’s birthday.

Two awards will be presented this year, one to CapitalMark Bank and Trust in Jackson Square and the other to the Oak Ridge School Administration Building, formerly the Pine Valley School.

The awards will be presented by the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association in back-to-back ceremonies Thursday afternoon. The first ceremony at Pine Valley School starts at 3 p.m., and the second at CapitalMark Bank and Trust at 3:45 p.m. [Read more…]