First Tee of Greater Knoxville
Project overview
YEAR: 2015 CLIENT: First Tee of Greater Knoxville LOCATION: 2351 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville VOLUNTEER(S): David Collins, AIA

The East Tennessee Community Design Center (ETCDC) was requested to analyze the expansion needs of the First Tee of Greater Knoxville at Williams Creek Golf Course. The national First Tee Program impacts the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choicesthrough the game of golf. Much needed improvements to their … Read More

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The East Tennessee Community Design Center (ETCDC) was requested to analyze the expansion needs of the First Tee of Greater Knoxville at Williams Creek Golf Course. The national First Tee Program impacts the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices
through the game of golf. Much needed improvements to their existing building and creation of a cart barn and outdoor pavilion will allow First Tee of Greater Knoxville to reach more young people by expanding their current programs and golf operations. After an initial on-site meeting and the approval of the Design Works committee, the ETCDC staff began analyzing the needs of the organization.

The First Tee club house is described by the Tennessee Historical Commission as a 1940’s masonry building that originally served as the African American Tennessee School for the Deaf. The school began in 1879 by former slave James Mason in his downtown home, then the state assumed operations in 1881 and conducted classes in a residence on the current site. African American students lived and received instruction at the current Williams Creek location until 1965, when Tennessee’s School for the Deaf at Island Home campus was integrated.

The club house which houses the main program spaces will be renovated. Existing HVAC and electrical will be reworked to meet their current operational needs. The upstairs will remain an open gathering space for the First Tee program. Storage areas will be improved to
allow for increased capacity. The lower level will be reworked to provide display space for the pro shop, men’s and women’s changing rooms, a concession kitchen with seating area, and a golf simulator.

A new metal building will be created west of the existing building to store the golf carts with room for growth, maintenance, and cleaning areas. This moves the carts out from the basement of the existing building, allows for internal storage for all the carts, and relocates them into a more accessible location. The base of the building will be constructed of concrete
masonry blocks for durability and transition into metal wall panels above the height of a doorway. A new red metal roof has been selected to match the roof of the existing building.

An open-air pavilion will be created near holes nine (9) and eighteen (18) to allow for outdoor gatherings. The structure will be pushed into the existing hillside, giving it the appearance of an extended green lawn from the parking lot level. The lower level can be used to seat over 100 people with storage, toilets, and vending areas at the rear. The upper level can be used as a viewing platform, a space to announce the beginning of tournaments, and possibly as a tee box for the nearest hole.

First Tee was the ETCDC’s 1000th project completed.

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