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VOL. 43 | NO. 3 | Friday, January 18, 2019

Carving to grace Magnolia Avenue gateway

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A limestone carving of a magnolia flower will be the centerpiece of the Magnolia Avenue gateway monument. Bruno Lazzaris, an artist from Pittsburgh, has carved the flower in limestone that will be embedded in the monument on Magnolia Avenue at Jessamine Street.

The gateway monument is part of Phase I of the Magnolia Streetscapes Project, which is slated for completion this summer.

“The one-of-a-kind custom stone carving by artisan Brunno Lazzaris will be a significant piece of the gateway monument due to its uniqueness and craftsmanship,” says Dawn Michelle Foster, director of redevelopment for Knoxville. “It will be a key feature for people traveling along Magnolia Avenue to enjoy.”

The magnolia flower will be easy to spot by drivers, transit passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists alike. The limestone piece is 30 inches high, 26 inches wide and 4 inches thick.

Weighing in at 180 pounds, the finished piece has already made its way to East Tennessee. Morristown Signs, the company contracted by the City of Knoxville to install the lettering and limestone magnolia flower, will hold the piece until its permanent installation.

Morristown Signs hired Lazzaris to create the custom magnolia piece. The artisan built it from his Happy Hollow Studio in Pittsburgh. The actual creation process took about two weeks to complete.

Orange Orchard adds two new clients

Two California companies – MUSE Global and V-dog – have chosen Orange Orchard, a division of Maryville-based Ripley PR, to represent their public relation interests.

Orange Orchard specializes in franchising and environmentally conscious brands. Heather Ripley is the CEO.

MUSE is an innovative, sustainability-based early childhood education school, based in Southern California. The company recently announced international franchise opportunities, and is looking to provide the framework and support system needed for educators and those interested in transforming the outdated models of standardized approaches and rigid learning practices.

“We interviewed several agencies and chose Orange Orchard as a partner because of their franchise knowledge and experience, as well as their shared commitment to our vision and values,” says Rebecca Amis, chief innovation officer of MUSE Global. “It was natural for us to partner with an agency that is working to help make the world a more compassionate and sustainable place.”

V-dog is a San Francisco-based vegan owned and operated dog food company.

Planning Commission gets a new name

Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission, the agency responsible for comprehensive county-wide planning and administration of zoning and land subdivision regulations, recently rebranded to Knoxville-Knox County Planning. The goal for the update is to be more responsive, engaging, and relevant to those they serve.

The rebrand includes a new name and logo, as well as an updated website. It also coincides with an office renovation that will allow improved customer interactions.

Along with the rebrand, Knoxville-Knox County Planning also has renovated its office space. The goals for the renovated physical space complement those for the rebrand: improved customer interactions, efficiency, and collaboration. The reconfigured workspace makes it easier for customers to access staff and planning resources, as well as several city departments, in a one-stop-shop.

Architecture Career Day scheduled for Feb. 22

The University of Tennessee’s Center for Career Development will host more than 60 employers on campus on Feb. 22 for a day-long event for architecture and design students to learn about jobs and internships.

Career Day will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the ballroom of the new Student Union.

In 2018, participating firms included Gensler, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, McCarty Holsaple McCarty, BarberMcMurry Architects, HBG Design, Hastings Architecture Associates, Lose & Associates, Inc. and others.

Appointments are not needed to participate in Career Day; however, students who upload their resumes, cover letters and design sheets by February 4, 2019, are eligible to have employers review their work prior to Career Day and schedule interviews.

Appalachian Heritage Projects receives grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities is offering a $400,000 grant to set up the Appalachian Heritage Project at Pellissippi State Community College.

The project will be housed at the college’s Strawberry Plains campus, which serves more than 1,200 students from Knox County Schools, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and Pellissippi State.

The project is expected to be completed Oct. 1, 2020.

The grant will help Pellissippi State expand its Strawberry Plains campus library to house the Appalachian Heritage Project, which will focus on regional literature, history and folklore.

“The Appalachian Heritage Project will create a cultural center that will educate not only our Pellissippi State students, but the entire community about the traditions and narrative of our region,” says Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “This grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities gives us the significant head start we need to make this dream a reality.”

The $400,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant requires a $400,000 match, which will be met through a major gift fundraising campaign.

State Street Garage work moves forward

While the expansion of State Street Garage remains on schedule, the next phase of the $11 million project will be particularly noticeable to motorists and pedestrians.

Two new decks and about 570 new parking spaces are expected to be open by early summer.

In mid-January, current work on the east side of the garage will wrap up and the large crane will be redeployed on State Street.

As work shifts to the west side of the garage, there are three significant changes:

Central Street will reopen, but State Street will be closed for several months to pedestrians and vehicles, starting around Jan. 18 or the week of Jan. 21.

Throughout February, the pedestrian bridge over State Street that connects State Street Garage with Gay Street will be closed. State Street and the east sidewalk will be closed off due to work zone hazards, so pedestrians wishing to get to Gay Street will need to exit the garage at street level and cross State Street at either Clinch or Union avenues.

At times, the main exit out of the garage onto State Street may be closed. Vehicles will be able to exit through the north gate onto Union Avenue.

Knoxville’s communications department keep residents up to date on complete details about the closures and weekly traffic-flow plans.

7 gardens to highlight Dogwood Arts event

The 2019 Dogwood Arts House & Garden Show, the largest fundraiser for the annual event, will feature seven grand, locally designed gardens at the Knoxville Convention Center, Feb. 1-3.

The House & Garden Show helps keep 99 percent of Dogwood Arts events free each year.

Hundreds of exhibitors will offer innovative new ideas for home and garden. The Art Market will feature unique art made by regional artists.

The “She Shed, He Shed” area sponsored by Tuff Sheds will offer ideas and tips on how to decorate your own backyard getaway.

On the How-To Stage presented by Discovery, experts from HGTV and DIY Network will share tips for home improvement, interior design and gardening.

On the Dine & Design Stage, local chefs will prepare meals complete with presentation tips. The event features the Herb and Flower Market and the Children’s Creation Station.

Show hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pigeon Forge Trolley now runs year round

Prices for the Pigeon Forge Trolley have increased for the first time in 14 years, allowing the service to operate year-round.

The North and South Parkway winter trolley route will operate from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily and remain in effect until the trolleys resume full operation on March 12, 2019.

The Pigeon Forge trolley system is the third-largest rural transit system in the U.S.

Pigeon Forge residents and those who work in the city may purchase a year-round pass ($35 per person), a $3 one-day pass, a $1 North or South Parkway ticket as well as tickets for additional route options at the Pigeon Forge Trolley Office located in the Old Mill district at traffic light seven. (There is no charge for children ages three and under.)

The winter route will travel as far north as Sevierville and to light number 10 on the south end of town. The route also will travel portions of Teaster Lane. In total, there are more than 100 trolley stops located on the winter route.

In years past, trolley service in Pigeon Forge ceased the first week of January and remained out of service until early March. The schedule aligned with the city’s tourism season, which typically begins to increase in March as spring break travelers return to the area.

“Year-round trolley service is not only a convenience that the city can offer Pigeon Forge residents and workers, but trolley use also helps ensure cleaner air by decreasing the number of cars on our streets and, in turn, the amount of emissions released into the air,” Teaster adds.

ETSU receives gift of survey equipment

East Tennessee State University has received a major donation of survey equipment from Transit and Level Clinic in Cary, North Carolina.

The university’s surveying program received five Leica total stations and data collectors, valued at $73,000.

“We care about giving back to the industry and we value the importance of quality education in developing the next generation of surveyors,” says Charles W. Lawley III, from Transit and Level. “ETSU’s record speaks for itself –they are highly effective at providing quality education and promoting the land surveying industry.’’

Lawley added that he is proud to work alongside partner, Leica Geosystems, to support equipment needs and to build relationships with ETSU surveying students, who are the future of the profession.

ETSU offers a bachelor of science in surveying and mapping.

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