CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The people who maintain grounds and facilities for the Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department are finally getting a major facilities upgrade of their own.
For years, Grounds & Facilities Maintenance worked out of an old building at 1210 Franklin Street that had served as the City Garage. It had no air conditioning, limited office space, a small break room and inadequate restrooms.
Meanwhile, the division continued to grow, as Clarksville’s inventory of parks and municipal properties continued to expand. Today, Parks & Recreation Grounds & Facilities Maintenance has 37 core full-time workers, and another 10 seasonal positions.
About 20 of these staff members work out of the Franklin Street facility. This includes supervisors and a group of eight maintenance specialists who take care of buildings like City Hall, the Council Chambers, Parks & Recreation headquarters downtown and the City’s 12 fire stations. Another 8-10 member crew covers City pools and smaller neighborhood parks like Bel Aire and Billy Dunlop parks. Three more 8-10 member crews are based at each of the City’s largest parks -- Liberty, McGregor and Heritage.
Some 10 years ago, the City purchased a large prefabricated metal building with the intention of putting it next to the old Franklin Street garage. The project lay dormant until the building was erected three years ago, but construction was never fully completed.
That was the situation Rodney Ammons inherited three months ago when he took the job as Grounds & Facilities Maintenance Manager. Parks & Recreation Director Jennifer Letourneau made improving the division’s home a major early objective for Ammons, a recently retired Army 1st Sergeant with extensive engineering and facilities management experience.
Ammons quickly assessed the facility needs. He determined the old garage would be assigned as storage space, and the newer metal building would be upgraded with 2,000 square feet devoted to office space, a break room/training room and restrooms. Another 8,000 square feet would be devoted to workshop and storage areas.
The unfinished metal building’s office areas needed flooring and ceiling improvements, and the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems needed to be upgraded.
In two months, using voluntary overtime from the core building maintenance staff, Ammons and his team created a modern and more functional workplace. Maintenance specialists Brandon West, James Barrineau and Crew Chief Charles Simon consistently put in the overtime work on the building, Ammons said.
Ammons and his team are particularly proud of their new break room, which has a big table and a refrigerator. A desk features a computer workstation needed for keeping up with City-mandated training and email accounts.
“We started construction in late April, and we’ve made a lot of progress,” Ammons said. “This is a busy time, and we’re keeping up with a couple of hundred of parks and building work orders a month. In the fall and winter, we should be able to make more progress on organizing the workshop and other spaces.”
Mayor Joe Pitts has been impressed by the progress on improving the workspace.
“Improving this facility was clearly needed,” Mayor Pitts said. “Rodney put together a good plan, and we were able to free up some resources for overtime and supplies. I appreciate the pride and extra effort this group has put into the project.”
Crew Chief Charles Simon, maintenance specialists James Barrineau and Brandon West, and Rodney Ammons, Parks & Recreation Grounds & Facilities Maintenance Manager, are happy to have a new break room as part of their workplace at 1210 Franklin St. Their project provided improved office space and work areas.
The Grounds and Facilities Maintenance project included upgrading the HVAC system and pouring new concrete between new and old buildings at the workplace.