Oak Ridge City Council members on Monday will consider awarding a $150,000 contract to a company that could help in the first phase of a $1 million project to redevelop Jackson Square, the city’s original town center.
The contract for design services could be awarded to Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineering Inc. of Knoxville. V&M could help with services ranging from deed research and field surveys to preliminary plans and construction estimates.
The work is part of a project funded with help from a Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant that was announced by Gov. Bill Haslam in Jackson Square in June 2012.
Enhancements at Jackson Square could include a reconfigured parking lot that would be landscaped and have a more walkable plaza and parking area. They would also include new and improved sidewalks, a fountain, new landscaping, a connection to the parking lot on the north side of Broadway Avenue, and other amenities, such as lighting, bike racks, benches, and signs.
The TDOT grant has a total budget of roughly $1 million, and the state will pay 80 percent of the construction costs in the grant application. The state’s share is estimated at about $800,000.
The city will pay 20 percent of the construction costs, or roughly $181,000.
The city’s total cost is estimated at approximately $280,000, including close to $102,000 for professional design services.
The goal is to complete construction before the June 2014 Lavender Festival, Oak Ridge City Engineer Steven R. Byrd said in a memo to City Manager Mark Watson.
Eight firms submitted letters of interest and qualifications for the Phase I design, and four of those were judged to be viable candidates. V&M was chosen to be the most qualified, Byrd said.
“V&M has a diverse base of experience and qualifications and has worked on numerous projects similar to what is envisioned for the revitalization of Jackson Square,” Byrd said.
The company would work with landscape architecture firm Hedstrom Design and environmental firm S&ME Inc.
Byrd said the committee set up to pick the engineering firm including him, Watson, Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder, Consultant Ray Evans, Jackson Square property owner Tony Cappiello, Oak Ridge Garden Club President Trish Jones, and Jackson Square Merchants Association member Jeannie O’Brian.