THE CITY OF OAK RIDGE
N E W S L E T T E R
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HOLIDAY SCHEDULE REMINDER
All City of Oak Ridge offices will be closed on Monday, January 21, 2019, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Household trash and recycling pick-ups will occur as scheduled.
WORK UNDERWAY AT SITES FOR NEW PRESCHOOL AND SENIOR CENTER
The City of Oak Ridge held ceremonial groundbreakings on Monday, January 14, to celebrate the start of two major projects: the new Oak Ridge Preschool with Scarboro Park Improvements and the new Oak Ridge Senior Center. Construction activity is already underway at both sites and the buildings are slated for completion later this year.

“These projects have been in the planning stages for decades and we are making good on promises to deliver them,” Mayor Warren Gooch stated. “The Preschool and the Senior Center will have a positive impact on our citizens and their families for generations to come. We are excited to see construction begin.”
Studio Four Design, Inc., was chosen to design the Preschool and the Senior Center. At a special meeting in October 2018, Oak Ridge City Council unanimously approved resolutions awarding construction contracts to Jenkins & Stiles, LLC, totaling just over $11 million ($8.4M for the new Preschool and Scarboro Park Improvements and $2.68M for the new Senior Center). General obligation bonds were sold in late November to completely fund the projects. ( Thanks to Jefferson Middle School teacher James Mitchell for the aerial photo!)

“After years of discussion, plans for these important facilities are coming to fruition,” City Manager Mark Watson added. “The Preschool and Senior Center are welcome additions to our community. We are appreciative of all the hard work that has gone into making these amenities a reality for Oak Ridge.”
Above : City leaders gather with representatives from Oak Ridge Schools, the Board of Education and other special guests, including Preschool students, to break ground at the site of the new Oak Ridge Preschool on January 14.

Below : City and local leaders break ground at the new Oak Ridge Senior Center site on January 14 along with Senior Advisory Board members and other guests.
The new preschool will be a single-story facility of approximately 33,000 square feet. The build site is inside Scarboro Park. The project includes improvements to the adjacent park area such as lighted basketball/tennis courts, a baseball field, a public pavilion, green space, and a walking trail.
The new senior center will be built just to the west of the Civic Center. The single-story, approximately 11,000 square foot facility will overlook part of A.K. Bissell Park. Plans include a large kitchen, craft and exercise rooms, billiards parlor, lounge, and other common space.
The Preschool is expected to be complete by the end of November 2019 and the Senior Center has an estimated completion date of October 1, 2019. Members of Oak Ridge City Council, the Oak Ridge Board of Education, and the Senior Advisory Board attended Monday’s groundbreakings, along with City staff, Oak Ridge Schools representatives, project leaders, and other special guests.
APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED FOR OAK RIDGE CITIZENS' POLICE ACADEMY
DEADLINE TO APPLY IS FEBRUARY 8
The Oak Ridge Police Department is once again conducting a Citizen Police Academy this year. Classes will start  February 19 and continue through  April 23 . Classes will be held on Tuesday of each week.
Students will learn the policies and procedures of the Oak Ridge Police Department and experience firsthand how the department operates. The mission of the Citizens’ Police Academy is to debunk myths about law enforcement as well as open lines of communication between officers and civilians. Citizens will know their officers and understand the challenges the job brings.
Students will learn through classroom lecture and hands on experience, as well as real life scenarios and role play. Students will also participate in a ride along with officers during a patrol shift and observe how officers provide police services to the Oak Ridge community. Students will be exposed to the same training that all Oak Ridge Police Officers receive.
The academy is open to adults age 18 and up. Selection will be on a first come, first served basis. However, if the class becomes full, priority will be given to Oak Ridge residents. Classes have filled up quickly in the last few years. 

Due to the law enforcement-sensitive training and handling of weapons, a criminal history check will be done by the department. A release of liability form will be required for admission to the program. Applications will be accepted through February 8, 2019. 

Applications and required releases can be  accessed online and printed at home or picked up at the records division of the police department. Applications can be submitted by mail or dropped off in person. Applicants will be informed of acceptance into the program and given specific times and locations for class.
CENTENNIAL GOLF COURSE TO HOST BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER FOR GIRLS INC.
Girls Inc. is an after-school, summer camp, break camp, and sports program for girls 5-18 years old. The organization began in 1976 and opened its permanent Oak Ridge campus in 2000 at 1798 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Girls Inc. has grown to be an integral part of our community and serves over 850 girls every year across Anderson, Roane and Knox Counties.
OAK RIDGE BLUEPRINT PROJECT UPDATE
RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
The City of Oak Ridge has two drop-off locations available for citizens to recycle their Christmas trees. Signs will be posted in both locations. 

The drop-offs are:

  • Big Turtle Park, 2525 Oak Ridge Turnpike (parking lot)

  • Solway Park, 205 Edgemoor Road (parking lot adjacent to the boat launch)

Trees will be accepted any time through the end of January 2019. On Saturday, January 19, Recreation and Parks Department employees will be on site to assist with unloading trees at the Big Turtle Park drop-off location from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Please be sure to remove all tinsel and decorations from Christmas trees before dropping them off for recycling. Wreaths and garland will also be accepted, but no brush.
DRY LANDSCAPE GARDEN ADDED TO FRIENDSHIP BELL PEACE PAVILION
ASIAN GARDEN SPECIALIST TO SPEAK AT UT ARBORETUM JANUARY 24, VOLUNTEER TRAINING OFFERED JANUARY 25 & 26
Artistic designs raked in fine gravel around carefully placed boulders offer peaceful settings for contemplation gardens. Known as karesansui (car-uh-san-swee), the dry landscape gardens are a centuries-old tradition in Japan, but rare in the United States. Soon, however, Oak Ridge will have its own karesansui garden.

 As landscaping begins around the International Friendship Bell Peace Pavilion in Oak Ridge, the Japanese karesansui gardens will lend a distinctive and contemplative element to the Oak Ridge landmark.
Introducing the gardens to Oak Ridge will be Martin McKellar, retired from the University of Florida International Center and now a volunteer as the Asian garden specialist at the university’s art museum. He will present a public talk at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, on “Dry Landscape Gardens around the World and in Oak Ridge” at the University of Tennessee Arboretum auditorium, 901 S. Illinois Ave., Oak Ridge.
The karesansui gardens at the Friendship Bell site will be maintained by volunteers who learn the skills to create the designs and maintain the gardens for the city. McKellar will also hold four-hour training sessions for volunteers interested in designing, raking and taking care of the Oak Ridge karesansui gardens at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, and at 8:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. 

Anyone interested in volunteering may e-mail for more information or to sign up in advance. Just click the button below.
Dry landscape gardens near the Friendship Bell will include the Karesansui Contemplation Garden with a formal design, offering a quiet space to sit and view the garden and the Bell beyond it. A second area will be a play and practice karesansui, where children, adults and volunteers will have the opportunity to create designs as they hone their skills in design and raking.
ORPD ANNOUNCES 2019 SCHEDULE FOR FREE CAR SEAT CHECKPOINTS
WINTER WEATHER PLAN FOR OAK RIDGE
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It's that time of year again...
Do you have questions about how the City handles winter weather conditions?

The answers can be found in our annual Winter Weather Plan.
NJROTC EXCELS DURING MILITARY INSPECTION AT ORHS
On December 6, 2018, the NJROTC cadets of the Oak Ridge High School’s Wildcat Company formed up for their first official Annual Military Inspection ceremony. 

Led by senior and Cadet Company Commanding Officer Rhiannon Lucas, the cadets took formation in the Wildcat Arena for Personnel Inspection by Chief Warrant Officer Johnston, the Inspecting Officer for the ceremony.
Twenty one cadets scored “Outstanding” on the personnel inspection and were presented an award for Exemplary Personal Appearance during the ceremony. Following the personnel inspection, the cadets then formed up to begin the ceremony. Those in attendance were treated to a demonstration by the Unarmed Drill team, led by Cadet Senior Chief Lillie Mullins and the Armed Drill team, led by Cadet Lieutenant Alex Coones. During the ceremony, each of the five platoons of cadets and the color guard did a “Pass in Review” saluting the Inspecting Officer and distinguished guests.
Something very special about our ceremony was recognizing Elizabeth O’Toole as the Cadet of the Month for November and promoting Cadet Beatrice Shea to Cadet Petty Officer Second Class. Cadet Shea was selected above her peers for her exemplary appearance while in uniform, exceptional performance of her duties in ROTC and all of her other classes. The Wildcat Company wishes to thank everyone who attended and supports the program.

Article and photos submitted by Chief Ryan Nicholls
ORPD RECEIVES AWARDS FROM TENNESSEE HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICE
Last month, several members of the Oak Ridge Police Department were honored for their commitment to community safety. Awards were given by the  Tennessee Highway Safety Office  (THSO) for accomplishments related to child safety seat education and outreach, DUI enforcement, and traffic safety.

(Pictured above from L to R: Chief Robin Smith, Ofc. Trae Sweeten, Lt. John Kelly, Sgt. Shannah Newman, & Ofc. Ray Faircloth)

Please join us in thanking all the wonderful members of our team for working hard every day to keep us safe!
Lt. Kelly (pictured) & Sgt. Newman accepted the award for "Child Safety Partnering Agency of the Year" for organizing car seat checkpoints.
Officer Ray Faircloth was recognized by THSO and  Mothers Against Drunk Driving  for being ORPD's Top DUI Enforcement Officer.
Officer Trae Sweeten received the "Speed Award" from THSO. He issued 330 traffic-related citations total for the year.
NOW HIRING: FIND A JOB WITH US
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The City is currently accepting applications for the following positions: 

  • Crime Analyst
  • School Crossing Guard
  • Public Safety Communications Officer (Dispatcher)
  • Summer Recreation Leaders
  • Summer Lifeguards
  • Electric Line Technician (Lineman)

Please note that closing dates vary by position and applications must be submitted by the deadline to be considered. 

In addition to the above opportunities, the Roane Alliance is also looking to fill their President/CEO position. Full details are listed in the Employment section of our website.
FREE GUITAR LESSONS OFFERED THROUGH OAK RIDGE SENIOR CENTER
Free guitar lessons for senior citizens will begin on Friday, February 1, 2019, and are open to area seniors age 50 and older.

All levels of guitar players are welcome. Beginner’s lessons start at 9 a.m. with intermediate lessons following. Bass guitar lessons are also included.
TRY TAI CHI FOR A HEALTHIER NEW YEAR
The Tennessee branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA is holding classes at the Oak Ridge Senior Center. Classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. A donation of $2 per class is suggested, but not required. New students, age 50 and older, can join at any time.

Program organizers say the gentle motions of Tai Chi offer health benefits for all ages, but the practice often appeals to seniors looking for ways to improve strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. Tai Chi is low-impact, exercising the skeleton, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and all connective tissue, with very low risk of injury.
STAY WARM THIS WEEKEND!
Our local weather forecast has a big temperature swing in store for us! Warmer and rainy conditions on Saturday will give way to freezing temperatures overnight and temps in the teens and 20s by Sunday evening. Be careful in case of snow or ice on the roads and stay warm!
City of Oak Ridge, TN | www.oakridgetn.gov | sself@oakridgetn.gov