City reviews bids to construct new Oak Ridge Conference Center

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (June 7, 2023) – The City of Oak Ridge is on track to construct and transform a portion of the Oak Ridge Civic Center into a 10,834-square-foot conference center.

City officials worked with architectural firm Clark Nexsen to design the new facility and opened bids last month to determine which company will handle construction.

The bid to complete the construction of the project will be considered at the City Council meeting on June 12. The low bid submitted was very close to the estimated construction cost for this part of the project.

The conference center is expected to have a banquet-hall setup that would comfortably seat at least 400 people at tables and could become three smaller meeting spaces with partitions set up. There would also be smaller breakout rooms located at the front of the facility.

The project will include improvements to shower and restroom facilities as well as a remodel of the existing Civic Center kitchen and establishing a corridor outside of the Civic Center for visitors to be able to see the entrance to the conference center from Oak Ridge Turnpike. As a part of the project, a sprinkler system will be installed in the entire Civic Center facility. The Civic Center’s recreational spaces like the pool and gym will remain at the facility. 

The total project cost is estimated to cost about $5.5 million. Just under $3 million is already available from a direct appropriation from the Governor’s budget in 2018.

Prior to developing the design of the conference center, project managers met with volunteers on some of the City’s advisory boards, including the Recreation & Parks and Youth Advisory boards, to collect input. Architects gave a public presentation at the City Council work session in January and Council was also given an update at its work session in April.

A start date for the project has not been set but construction is expected to take about 15 months.

To view more renderings of the planned conference center, visit OakRidgeTN.gov. For more information, contact Oak Ridge Economic Development Consultant Ray Evans at (865) 548-2137 or via email at rnevans@bellsouth.net.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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