Montgomery County, TN – A pool sized concrete hole next to Norman Smith Elementary School was recently turned into a safe, green, usable space. District 5 Montgomery County Commissioner Rashidah Leverett took the initiative to make calls inquiring what could be done to make changes to the area shortly after being elected in fall 2018.
Since closing the public pool next to Norman Smith Elementary in August 2015, the empty lot which once contained an active outdoor swimming pool, had fallen into disrepair and became an eyesore to the area.
While visiting the campus in October 2018, Commissioner Leverett, who represents that area, saw a beer can and sleeping bag near the retired pool and noticed the park area was unkept with trash around the vacant pool.
“My primary concern was for the safety of the students who attended Norman Smith. I first called State Representative Jason Hodges who worked with Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) Operations to clean up the area. He quickly responded to the request and led the clean-up effort,” stated Leverett.
After discovering the pool was irreparable, Leverett contacted Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett to see what could be done to transform the area into safe, functional space. Mayor Durrett reached out to Jim Sumrell, operations director of CMCSS, and the ball began rolling from there.
CMCSS had agreed to take ownership of the land from the City of Clarksville based on the condition that the City bring the land back to its original state prior to the installation of the pool. The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department agreed, and the bulldozing of the retired pool began in spring of 2019. Once the clean-up effort was complete, the property was turned over to CMCSS.
“I’m very thankful that Representative Hodges and I worked together to initiate these improvements and appreciate the work of CMCSS and our Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department for seeing this project through,” said Leverett.