KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs solidified Knox County’s commitment to renovate and improve the athletic fields at South Doyle Middle School on Friday. The improvements include the complete overhaul of the soccer fields which is already underway and will be upgraded more throughout the summer. Also taking place this summer will be the construction of a new high-quality track, shot put and discus circle, bleachers, fencing, concession stand and ADA-approved bathrooms and sidewalks. The projects are scheduled to be compete before the start of school this fall, weather permitting.
“The county has promised these improvements to the South Doyle Middle School students and faculty and we intend to see them through to completion,” Mayor Jacobs said. “It’s not fair to them to have fields that are in such poor condition and we want to make sure that they have top-notch fields that the community can utilize and enjoy for years to come.”
At the request of Knox County Schools, construction on these projects will not begin until the school year ends to minimize disruptions around the middle school. However, all bids for them have been secured, plans submitted and money allocated with construction slated to begin by early June weather permitting.
The proposed BMX track at the same location has been removed from the plans. Mayor Jacobs cited the actual cost of the track and projects that support it which has inflated to nearly three times the amount budgeted for the project.
“I don’t think it’s a wise investment for our taxpayers,” he said. “With the actuals as high as they are on top of the uncertainty surrounding the long-term maintenance and its ability to draw races that would help pay for the track through its positive impact on our economy make it too much of a risk.”