A new Outdoor Chattanooga building will be ready by February and, once the move-in occurs, it can become a hub of outdoor adventure in the area, city officials said.
“This absolutely raises our profile,” said Phillip Grymes, executive director of Outdoor Chattanooga.
The building will be Chattanooga’s first city-owned building with a U.S. Green Building Council designation for being environmentally friendly. The 6,000-square-foot building sits in Coolidge Park and used to house River Interiors & Floorcovering.
City officials said the cost of restoring the building is about $942,000.
Work started in July and should be completed in early spring, just in time for next year’s outdoor activities, Mr. Grymes said. The outdoor group already has started planning for expansions in programs and activities, Mr. Grymes said.
The group will offer more bike riding tours along the Riverwalk, provide kayak trips in the Tennessee River and act as a guide to outdoor adventure in and outside Chattanooga, he said.
BY THE NUMBERS
* $942,000: Cost of renovating the new Outdoor Chattanooga building
* 6,000: Square footage of the new Outdoor Chattanooga building
* 800: Square footage of current suite Outdoor Chattanooga occupies
Source: Outdoor Chattanooga
The building also will house a 40-foot-high indoor rock climbing wall and rentals of kayaks and bikes, he said.
“It’s just a hub of outdoor activity,” Mr. Grymes said.
Larry Zehnder, the city’s Parks and Recreation administrator, said this week that the new building fits with the city’s image. The Chattanooga Visitors Bureau has been using the slogan “Chattanooga: A Great City By Nature” and the new Outdoor Chattanooga building helps cement that image, he said.
“That will be Grand Central Station for adventure sports,” Mr. Zehnder said.
During a recent trip to Portland, Ore., Mr. Zehnder said he saw kayak trips being conducted on the Colombia River. The new facility in Chattanooga now will allow those same types of services on the Tennessee River, he said.
“We have as good or better facilities and surroundings than any large city in this country,” he said.