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UT-Battelle Gives $140,000 for Waterfront Pavilion
UT-Battelle's past support for the Melton Hill waterfront includes a 2006 donation to the rowing facilities. (hi-res image)
In a presentation to the Oak Ridge City Council, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason said UT-Battelle's gift will be used to help build a new 2,400 sq. ft. pavilion that will contain restrooms and kitchen facilities and will house up to 200 people. Located adjacent to the lake, the pavilion will be used for rowing regattas and will be available for picnics, receptions and other public events.
"We believe the waterfront is one of the city's greatest assets. Our hope is that this gift will leverage other public and private investments that over time will make the waterfront development a reality," Mason said.
Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan said the pavilion is "the ideal project" to jumpstart the waterfront's development. "There is tremendous public support for a waterfront that can be used by lots of people in lots of ways. One of my goals is for the waterfront to have facilities like the pavilion that appeal to a variety of groups," Beehan said.
The pavilion project will be funded through a partnership of UT-Battelle and the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Parker Hardy said, "The waterfront pavilion is a great example of how the business community can come together in support of an important civic goal."
The pavilion is UT-Battelle's third major gift to the Oak Ridge waterfront. Previous gifts include the construction of starting docks and a finish line tower for the Oak Ridge Rowing Association.
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.