In the next couple of weeks, Academy Park in Franklin will begin opening and bring an unprecedented piece to the Williamson County Parks and Recreation repertoire.
The $9 million park at 112 Everbright Ave. off Columbia Avenue will house a Performing Arts Center and a Senior Enrichment Center, both novel to the county parks system.
The Enrichment Center will also be the new home of the J.L. Clay Senior Center, which is moving from its current location at 420 Bridge St. in Franklin.
“We are looking forward to it,” said Susan Ille, director of operations for J.L. Clay Senior Center. “We are partnering with Parks and Rec.”
The Bridge Street property will be sold as surplus, now that the county commission has approved the sale as of Monday. Money from the sale will go as a donation to a fountain in the courtyard at the new park.
“We were planning from day one that we will sell that location,” Mayor Rogers Anderson said. “The way we will have to sell it will be surplus, just like we do with any other property we have that we sell.”
The county bought the property more than 30 years ago in December of 1983 for $35,o00. Because it is government owned, it is exempt from appraisal and therefore its exact value is not known. However, the properties on either side of it are in the million-dollar range.
The location at 414 Bridge Street, adjacent to the east, is zoned commercial and has a total market value of $1.02 million. Close by at 202 5th Avenue North – zoned commercial and adjacent to the west – has a total market value of $967,800.
While the property will be auctioned off as surplus, Anderson said he will certainly set a minimum bid amount commensurate with its value.
“The thinking all along – several years ago – was that the money we receive will go towards the new facility in some way,” Anderson said.
The Enrichment Center – going up where Battle Ground Academy’s Fleming Hall once stood – will provide senior and therapeutic recreation programs, fitness and dance classes, community potlucks, special events and more. The state-of-the-art center is being built on the site of the original Battle Ground Academy campus.