Tennessee Street Park Grand Opening
The City of Savannah is proud to announce the grand opening of the Tennessee Street Park. Located at 200 Tennessee Street, the grand opening ceremony marked the completion of a two year, three phase construction project for the six acre park on the peripheral of the city’s National Register of Historic Places listed neighborhood. The site of the new Tennessee Street Park is where North Elementary stood from 1939 until it’s decommission in 2010 and demolition in 2011. Prior to North Elementary being constructed, the site also served as the Savannah Institute beginning in the late 1800s. This is the third time the property has been repurposed, although each time the goal has remained for the good of the public.
Funding for the park has been handled through a combination of efforts from grants, generous donations, and reserve funds for a portion of the costs. The balance of the construction costs was financed by incorporating a loan into a utility refinancing project that benefits the park by attaining a low fixed interest rate for debt service. The debt will be fully serviced and the park staffed with revenues from Savannah’s River Resort District funds.
The leadership for the City of Savannah is placing great emphasis on improving the quality of life for citizens and visitors. The Tennessee Street Park was designed to be a family-friendly neighborhood park with amenities for people of all ages and abilities; as Mayor Bob Shutt stated, “There is truly something for everyone in our new park. The park is something that citizens can take great pride in being part of our community and something that will draw visitors from near and far.”
The park features two playgrounds, two splash pads, a central fountain, two pavilions, restrooms and concessions, open green space, a butterfly garden, gazebo, quarter-mile walking trail, and many other amenities in a horticulturist’s dream of landscaping.
The park is already gaining regional recognition as the city was recently presented with the 2014 John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award from the Southwest Tennessee Development District and the city hopes to receive further recognition for the park as a model for successful design. Citizen safety is always a top priority for Savannah and to ensure a pleasant atmosphere for citizens and visitors; the park is protected by wireless security cameras that will record all activity in the park day and night. The city is distributing guidelines for the park to each of the schools in the county and signs will be posted on the grounds. When delivered to the citizens as a service, well-designed and well-operated community parks are proven to increase community involvement, build citizen interactions and reduce crime, which not only creates cost savings for city operations and services, but provides a more pleasant environment for the dozens of businesses surrounding the park. The park will also create a suitable environment for active lifestyles and will promote the health of the entire community.
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