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Hixson YFD Center to get upgrades

Last week, the Chattanooga City Council granted unanimous approval to move forward on $1.2 million in renovations on the Hixson Youth and Family Development Center.

“We’re going to update the center to make it more usable for the community,” said District 3 City Councilman Ken Smith, who represents the area.

The main goal is to make the center more accessible for seniors and people with disabilities, he said.

The center has very little parking on the upper level near the building. Most of the parking is located across School Drive, which has several blind turns and on which cars tend to drive fast, he said.

“It was not feasible for seniors to utilize our center,” said Smith.

Those with disabilities were also prevented by stairs from accessing the main meeting room.

Renovations will include the addition of 61 parking spaces on the upper level near the building and the addition of a covered entrance that is accessible to people with disabilities.

Rooms in the building will be renovated, asbestos will be removed and new bathrooms will be added.

Smith said planners are also trying to slow down cars on School Drive for those who park on the lower level. A raised crosswalk with flashing lights will be added, he said.

No start or end date has been set yet, according to Smith, adding that he was told the renovations will not affect the use of the center, which will remain open.