Oak Ridge has received a state grant of just under $500,000 that will be used primarily for synthetic turf at Blankenship Field. But it is also expected to help pay for track improvements, upgraded restrooms, fencing between the football field and track, and improvements to the Cedar Hill trailhead behind the visitors bleachers at Jack Armstrong Stadium, city officials said Thursday.
The Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant requires a 50 percent match. The match is supposed to be provided by the nonprofit Blankenship Field Revitalization Foundation, and it can be a mix of cash and in-kind contributions, although the precise percentage of each—cash versus in-kind contributions—isn’t clear yet. The foundation has been chaired by Tennessee Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally.
Officials expect to know more after four of them—City Manager Mark Watson, City Council member Rick Chinn, Recreation and Parks Director Jon Hetrick, and Allen Thacker of Oak Ridge Schools—attend mandatory grant training in Nashville in February.
After that, the Oak Ridge City Council could accept the grant, possibly as early as the February 13 meeting. [Read more…]