A team of graduate students from the University of Tennessee’s Master of Business Administration program will present recommendations next week to the City of Oak Ridge from a recent project that focused on how the city can promote its proposed Rails to Trails program.
The presentation, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, will be in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom on South Tulane Avenue. It is open to the public.
The Rails to Trails project in Oak Ridge would convert about 4.85 miles of unused CSX railroad into a pedestrian and bicycle trail. The city has received a $1.2 million grant for the project and approved a $1.5 million contract with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, but there is still much work to be done, including acquiring the property and designing and building the trail. Officials suggest it could be several years at least before the project is completed.
The former railroad starts at Elza Gate Park at Melton Lake Drive in east Oak Ridge, runs past the Emory Heights neighborhood and Jefferson Middle School, crosses Emory Valley Road near Hank’s Market, and then continues through the Hendrix Creek neighborhood along Lafayette Drive before ending near South Illinois Avenue, Scarboro Road, and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
The study of the Rails to Trails program took the group of four MBA students about seven weeks to complete, a press release said.
The City of Oak Ridge has been working with the Haslam College of Business at UT for several years, the press release said. The partnership helps the city assess key projects and needs within the community, while also helping students complete a core requirement for their master’s degree in business administration, the press release said.
“The collaboration was born from the city’s desire to learn how to best promote the use of the trail for citizens and visitors as well as how to leverage the trail’s existence to generate revenue that will fund its ongoing operation and maintenance,” the press release said. “The students’ recommendations must also remain relevant and viable over the period of time it may take to finish the trail.”
The MBA student project was an “Innovation in Practice” project.
WHAT: UT MBA Innovation in Practice: Rails-to-Trails Program in Oak Ridge
WHEN: Tuesday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Municipal Building Courtroom, 200 South Tulane Avenue, Oak Ridge
The City of Oak Ridge invites the public to attend this special presentation, the press release said. No reservation is required. The student report will be made available at a later date.
For more information, contact the Oak Ridge City Manager’s office at (865) 425-3550.
See our previous story on Rails to Trails here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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