The City of Knoxville’s Engineering Department has been recognized with three awards for its 2015 work that started the transformation at Lakeshore Park.
One award, by the Tennessee chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), recognized the City of Knoxville’s Lakeshore Park improvement project as a co-recipient of its statewide 2015 Outstanding Engineering Project. (The City’s Lakeshore project tied with the conversion of the Pyramid in Memphis in the ASCE recognition.)
Locally, the Knoxville chapter of the ASCE also named the City’s Lakeshore Park project as its 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineering Project of the Year and recognized Shawn Fitzpatrick, a City civil engineer, as its 2015 Government Engineer of the Year for his oversight of the Lakeshore project.
The abatement and demolition project was the initial step in the City’s effort to remake what had been the campus of the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute into a premier 185-acre waterfront park. The City received the property from the State of Tennessee after the hospital, which opened in 1886, closed almost four years ago.
After gathering public input in partnership with Lakeshore Park Inc., the City established a master plan for Lakeshore Park that includes upgrading the greenway from 2.25 miles to 8 miles, adding a universal playground (opened in September 2015), providing waterfront access and more.
Redevelopment of the property also includes restoration of the 100-year-old administration building, which will soon serve as headquarters for the City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation administrative offices.
More than 20 buildings were demolished in order to allow for future amenities to be added as part of the Lakeshore Park Master Plan. The site preparation also included replacing a patchwork of antiquated utilities – water, sewer, gas and electric lines – that in some cases predated World War II.
The City’s work set the stage for a $50 million private fundraising campaign that will implement the ambitious park master plan over the next two decades.
All combined, the City has so far invested more than $6.8 million on infrastructure, demolition and other improvements to transition toward the new Lakeshore Park.
The Engineering Department’s abatement and demolition work was completed within one year, and it was done in such a way that the park’s existing greenway and sports facilities remained operational. The City’s Urban Forester, Kasey Krouse, collaborated to protect the welfare of trees in the area – some of them more than a century old.
Design firm partners involved in the project included Elizabeth Eason Architecture, QE2, Chad Stewart Associates, Shield Engineering, and Facility Systems Engineering. NEO Corp. served as the contractor for the demolition, and Johnson & Galyon served as the general contractor for the administration building renovation.
Due to his oversight of the Lakeshore Park abatement and demolition project, Fitzpatrick was named 2015 Government Engineer of the Year by the local ASCE chapter. Fitzpatrick, a 20-year City employee, has worked as an engineering designer and has managed about $50 million in capital improvement projects. Recently, Shawn has managed professional service contracts for bridge replacements, streetscapes, drainage improvements, new sidewalks, new roads, slope stabilization projects and planning studies, as well as his work with Lakeshore.
“Shawn is an invaluable part of the Engineering team, and it is great to see him get some of the recognition he deserves,” said Jim Hagerman, City Engineering Director. “The Lakeshore Park demolition and abatement project had many challenging parameters that our City staff and partners addressed very effectively.”