The City of Franklin has decided to lease a vacant piece of property next to the City water sanitation plant. This 53 acre plot is bordered by Harlinsdale Park and Spencer Creek to the South, the Harpeth River and Cheek Park to the West, Mack Hatcher to the North, and First United Methodist Church to the East. The acreage consists mostly of flood way and 100 year floodplain and to this point has not been developed. On Saturday, the Board of Mayor and Alderman will have a mobile work session and visit the 3 development options that have been proposed to the Board:
1. An extension of Cheekwood Golf Club
2. Discovery Center – Spencer Creek
3. Hamlet at Spencer Creek residential development
All 3 proposals are well-thought out options for the development of the area. The housing development proposal has taken good care to not have the houses built in the floodplain, the golf course extension would connect to the existing Cheekwood Golf Club across Mack Hatcher by a pathway underneath the road, and The Discovery Center – Spencer Creek would bring an interactive children’s museum to Franklin while preserving most of the acreage as essentially park space.
The best option in my opinion though is Discovery Center – Spencer Creek. This proposal hands down provides the most benefit to Franklin and the surrounding Middle Tennessee Community. It has been endorsed by both Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District. It would increase tourism to the City, provide jobs and internships, while also retaining 49 of the 53 acres as outdoor environmental learning space and floodplain. It fills a need that is currently vacant in Franklin and all of Williamson County, since Discovery Center – Murfree Spring is a minimum of 45 minutes away in Murfreesboro.
My daughter is almost 2 and we have visited the Discovery Center – Murfree Spring in Murfreesboro many times. The organization is well run, professional, and extremely dedicated to the education and engagement of children and the Middle Tennessee community. The vast majority of growth into Williamson County in the last decade has been that of young families. This museum would only increase the value that Franklin and Williamson County has to that demographic and would exponentially increase its impact to other parts of Middle Tennessee as well.
I would love to speak to the Board of Mayor and Alderman on this issue and would like to bring a list of Franklin residents, particularly those in Ward 4, who would also be interested in establishing Discovery Center – Spencer Creek. If you are willing, please reply in the comment section to this with your name and zip code. The date for the final vote on the proposals has not been set yet. If it is prior to the election, I implore our current Alderman, Margaret Martin, to please vote in favor of the Discovery Center – Spencer Creek. My vote would be a definitive yes if I am Alderman of Ward 4. What an asset it would be to our community!