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Front Page - Friday, April 14, 2017

Community park gets a name: Southside

Following a community input process held in February to name a new park being built in Alton Park, the City of Chattanooga will name the space Southside Community Park. The park is located at the former Charles A. Bell Elementary School site.

“From the beginning, this project has been driven by community input and wishes. I’m proud of the work we have done and hope it conveys that Alton Park matters to the City of Chattanooga,” says Chattanooga City Councilman Chris Anderson, who represents District 7, home to the park.

After the city assumed ownership of the site in 2014, neighborhood leaders, Anderson and the city’s Department of Economic & Community Development held a community engagement process to create the new green space. The process included numerous public input sessions on design and development.

“These community leaders have worked hard to see a vacant site in the middle of their neighborhood transformed into a beautiful space for families and friends to gather,” Mayor Andy Berke says. “The name of the park suggests it will be an inviting, inclusive park that will strengthen this community.”

City and community members broke ground on the new park in February. The former school on the site closed in 1989, and the county-owned structure was demolished in 2011.

Community leaders also explored names for the park that included historic leaders and neighborhood visionaries. Chattanooga’s Open Spaces division is working with the community on ways to incorporate the names of these leaders.

Plans for the park include a quarter-mile walking path, an open lawn for community activities, benches, a large pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms and a drinking fountain.

Construction is expected to be complete by late summer. Mayor Berke allocated $1 million in capital funds in Fiscal Year 2015 to transform the site, and in late December of 2016, City Council approved a contract with P&C Construction, which is building the park.

Information: www.connect.chattanooga.gov/newpark.

Source: City of Chattanooga