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Strang sale study initiated

Could West Knox County get a new-and-improved senior center?

District 5 County Commis-sioner Mike Hammond is testing the feasibility of just that topic.

“The Frank Strang Center, unfortunately, has outgrown [its building]. The people who come there have outgrown the facility,” Hammond said.

“I’ve received numerous phone calls from senior citizens who use that center, who are complaining about the parking and complaining about the fact that, I believe, it’s the smallest senior center in Knox County, or one of the smallest.

“We’re looking at getting a new facility which would be bigger and have adequate parking to better serve the people at that center,” he added.

Hammond (along with Commissioners Brad Anders and Greg “Lumpy” Lambert) recommended a resolution at a Sept. 9 Commission meeting to issue a request for proposals for the Frank Strang Senior Center, and for the shared satellite offices of Knox County clerk, trustee and health department off Old Cedar Bluff Road. Commission voted to postpone the RFP for 30 days.

“We’re going to take an R-F-P to take a look at what that building is worth … and see if someone would be interested in buying those buildings,” Hammond said.

Hammond stressed the property was not immediately for sale.

“It’s kind of like a fishing expedition. We’re just going to see what those properties are worth, to see if there would be someone interested in taking a look at it and perhaps buying it.

“But this is not to sell the property, this is just to see what it’s worth and what somebody might pay for it.

“If we don’t feel like we can get the value for it, then we won’t sell it,” he added.

If County Commission receives a favorable price bid, Hammond said, the group may look at selling the buildings.

But not, he added, before opening a new senior center to replace Strang.

Hammond said there was no site already designated for a new senior center, should the RFPs prove favorable.

“We don’t have another site in mind, but once we determine what the value may be and if, indeed, we’re going to move in that direction, we’ll take a look at different sites,” Hammond said.

“We just need to look at a new center. But in order to do a new center, we have to see if perhaps we can sell that facility.

“And if we can’t, we’ll just continue operating until there might be a time for us to do that,” he added.

“The whole idea is getting a new center, and this is just the first step in seeing if we can do that.”


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