Oak Ridge TN., Public Schools – Excellence in Education since 1943

We are so proud of our school system in Oak Ridge, TN. Our schools are so amazing you may want to consider relocating to Oak Ridge for the sake of your children’s education.

“The vision of Oak Ridge High School is to graduate all students prepared for success in college or career as productive and contributing citizens.” These are not just idle words.

The Oak Ridge High School prepare students for all sorts of fields ranging from welding to computer science to graphic arts.

All students will always have a laptop and it will follow them from Freshman to Senior, the school also has a repair shop on site so if a laptop stops working a student can drop it off and get a another one and use it until theirs is fixed and never miss any work at school.

Oak Ridge Schools is the only school system in America where all students are STEM certified, STEM is Science, Technology, Electronics, and Math. Advanced STEM Certification info can be found here: Stem Certified Oak Ridge Schools

Oak Ridge TN schools are 1st in Tennessee and only the 2nd in the world to be entirely certified out of 34,000 schools in 70 countries. It is very fitting Oak Ridge Schools System was awarded this certification during the city’s 75th anniversary.   Oak Ridge first in state for STEM certification — second in the world

Of course when you visit Oak Ridge, TN you want to stay with us at Oak Ridge Lodging, we offer fully furnished apartments, daily, weekly, short-term and long-term. No lease or commitment on length of stay is ever required. We have the lowest rates in Oak Ridge. visit Oak Ridge Apartments and Corporate Housing



What’s new in Oak Ridge

We have several new businesses opening up in and around Oak Ridge Tennessee in the coming months.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. They have everything from steakburgers to hot dogs and ice cream sundaes and custard. They offer waffle cones and nutter butter custard sandwiches, (I cant wait to try these). The opening date is August of 2018.

TireDiscounters is being built now in front of the old AMSE building. They offer new tires, oil changes, wheel alignments, shocks and struts and other car related services.

AMSE is the American Museum of Science and Energy will be moving to it’s new location at Oak Ridge Main Street location and opening in the fall of 2018. the old location closed July 29th. They offer the Story of Oak Ridge: This panorama of historical photographs, documents and artifacts explains the Manhattan Project and the construction of Oak Ridge, TN. A 20-minute video presentation extends the explanations.
Exploration Station: This popular area offers self-directed activities which explore light and color, sound, problem-solving, static electricity, robotics, vision and more.
Y-12 and National Defense: Models of weapons, protective clothing and tools along with video and hands-on activities demonstrate processes, safety features and careers at the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge.
Earth’s Energy Resources: Maps, tools, models and audiovisual materials are used in the exhibits to explore the variety of energy sources, such as coal, oil, geothermal, hydropower and natural gas, found on Earth.
World of the Atom: A cross section model of a nuclear reactor and a simulated underground nuclear waste storage area highlight this area that also covers pioneering atomic scientists, natural radiation, fusion, and nuclear energy in space.

And we are changing our name from WestGate Lodging to Oak Ridge Lodging. We are the same great place and same great people and we are here for all your short and long term needs for lodging. If you are coming into Oak Ridge Tennessee for a short visit with family and friends or coming in for a job please look us up and give us a call for your lodging needs. We offer five different types of rooms from Efficiency, Studio, One Bedroom, Large One Bedroom and Two Bedroom Units. All of our units are fully furnished with everything you need, From living room furniture to queen beds, all dishes, pots and pans and silverware in the kitchen. 32″ flat screen T.V’s with HBO
We also offer weekly housekeeping with fresh linens and sheets. So next time you are in the Oak Ridge Tennessee area please check out Oak Ridge Lodging for all your lodging needs. our new website is oakridgelodging.com

New Businesses for Oak Ridge

The Oak Ridge Planning Commission has approved, with conditions, a final plan for construction for three new commercial buildings and a parking area in the location of the current American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE).

The plan is for a 55,000 square foot grocery/retail space that will be unique for the Oak Ridge area. City Officials say it is going to be a unique store and it is very different than any other store in Oak Ridge. The name will be announced at a later date. There also will be an 8,000 square foot tire store going in and that store will be call Tire Discounters. they specialize in tires, oil changes and brake jobs, they also do several fluid checks for cars, truck and fleet vehicles. There will also be 5,800 square feet building for restaurant or retail space that will be named later.

The plans also show places for walking, trees, and parking.

This is all new to the same area where Oak Ridge Main Street has been built. Several new businesses opened last year in the old Oak Ridge Mall location and the area is seeing a lot of new growth. Belks, JC Penny, rebuilt the front of their stores along with new stores like, Electronics Express, Ulta, Petsmart, Dicks, TJ Maxx, Rue 21, and Maurices. Tinseltown Movie Theater also just put in recliners so you can enjoy the movie experience in comfort. There is also a Freddys Frozen Custard and Steakburger that is being built right now and should be open by fall.

There is also talk of a health clinic going in the area but right now it is just talk. The clinic is pending an approval of a land transfer.

Right now the conditions are still in a concept plan and things will be looked at like water and sewer, storm water drainage, utilities. Also traffic and sidewalks will be looked at and how Oak Ridge can improve the flow of traffic in and around the area.

So you may be wandering where the AMSE is going to move to, well its going to be moved over to the old Sears building  near the new Oak Ridge Main Street and and have over 100,000 square feet for displays and exhibits for kids of all ages to play with and learn the history of Oak Ridge. Everything will be on 1 floor so it will accessible for everyone.

Come visit the new Oak Ridge Main Street and see all the new shopping and development in the area and stay with us here at Oak Ridge Lodging. We have fully furnished units that are ready and waiting for you. We offer Efficiency, Studio, One Bedroom, One Bedroom Deluxe and 2 Bedroom units. All of the units are move in ready. One price covers everything including water, power, cable TV and internet, We also offer weekly housekeeping. So please come visit us and the Oak Ridge Area.


Secret City Festival 2018

The Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge is scheduled for June 8th and 9th. It is the 75th anniversary celebration for the city of Oak Ridge and plenty of activities are being held.

Friday June 8th there will be an opening ceremony to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Oak Ridge. there will be a Robotics competition, technology exhibition, Tennessee Creates Juried Art Festival,  there will be a main stage with several local acts featured through out the day. also a pavilion stage with other acts for all ages. More activities will be announced as they are added.

The Little River Band will headline the Secret City Festival concert on Friday night. they had multi-platinum albums in the 1970s and 1980s with chart topping hits the include, “Lonesome Loser”, “The Night Owls”, “Take it easy on me”, “Cool Change”, “Reminiscing”, “Help is on the way”. Concert tickets go on sale late April.

Saturday June 9th there will be a 75th anniversary parade, several local artist will be set up selling there art and crafts. there will be bounce houses, face painting, and plenty of food vendors set up with all the festival food you can handle. There will also be more Robotics competitions and Technology exhibitions along with Tennessee Creates Juried Art Festival. A petting zoo will also be available for all the kids and kids at heart. Science trucks with activities for everyone to see and enjoy.

Saturday nights band as not been announced yet but i am sure it will be great. Past performers have been The Charlies Daniels Band, The Black Lillies, Dr Dog, these are just a few of past performers, cant wait to see how the Saturday night performer will be

Don’t forget to see all of Oak Ridge in this years 75th anniversary. Call Oak Ridge Lodging for your lodging needs for this weekends events, we are only 5 miles from all the fun.

Flu Prevention

The Flu is taking its course here in Oak Ridge Tennessee as is it across the country.  We have been lucky that it hasn’t hit here at Oak Ridge Lodging. This years strain is no laughing matter, it has killed over 60 kids across the country. I wonder how many of those could of been prevented if someone would of just took a little prevention. WASH YOUR HANDS as often as possible, use hand sanitizer when possible, also use the face masks that are provided in the hospitals if you have to go to one.

What is the FLU? It is a virus that infects the respiratory tract.

Flu symptoms:  Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle ache, and fatigue

The incubation period for the flu is about one to four days

The flu is contagious and normally last seven to fourteen days.

The flu can be transferred directly or indirectly. Directly is from person to person through airborne droplets from coughing and sneezing nad indirectly from touching something someone has coughed or sneezed on.

The flu could develop into Pneumonia it not treated.

The most harmful strain this year has been the H3N2. If you are getting the flu shot Dr.s are saying that it only covers about 30 percent of this strain.

I recently saw an interview with a Dr and she said for every 5 cases of flu that come into the E.R., 15 cases are leaving. that was staggering news to hear.

So please do a little prevention and wash you hands, use hand sanitizer when you can and cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.

We look forward to seeing you healthy and happy here at Oak Ridge Lodging in Oak Ridge Tennessee.

Who is Ed Westcott?

A standing-room-only crowd of close to 200 people gathered in the Wildcat Den of the Midtown Community Center on Saturday, Jan. 20, to attend a 75th Anniversary Event to celebrate Ed Westcott’s 96th birthday. If you missed this, you missed a great event!

For photos see: https://ray-smith.smugmug.com/Ed-Westcotts-96th-Birthday/.

Featured was a 15-minute documentary film, “Ed Westcott — Photographer,” (you can view the documentary online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYvzw9f8M8A), as well as proclamations from the Tennessee Legislature presented by state Rep. John Ragan and from the city of Oak Ridge presented by Mayor Warren Gooch. The day was declared Ed Westcott Day in Oak Ridge!

There were 40 of Ed’s most recognized black-and-white photographs framed with classic black mats and black frames by the Appalachian Frameshop on display on tables covering two of the long walls of the Wildcat Den. For the two hours of the event, those photographs were constantly being viewed by people. Only when the documentary film ran did the viewing pause.

While it is apparent that Ed is an Oak Ridge icon and local celebrity who has national recognition, I was amazed at the number of people desiring to be photographed with Ed or just wanting to shake his hand.

Amazing also were the children who sought him out. He loves to be around children. You can see the delight in his expression and the gleam in his eye when kids are about him.

For more: See Oakridger News full article:  http://www.oakridger.com/news/20180201/historically-speaking-local-celebrity-celebrates-96-updates-on-amse-and-more


Oak Ridge Lodging is proud to be a part of this magnificent trail system. The article below mentions the 12 miles of trails on the west end of Oak Ridge. These 12 miles of trails is located directly across the street of our front door!!!  Be sure to read the article below, for more details on this great trail system you can visit http://www.oakridgetn.gov/content/VISITORS/Greenways Oak Ridge Trails System

Oak Ridge, TN  Greenways: History and Future      
By Ben Pounds/The Oak Ridger   Posted Jan 17, 2018 at 1:31 PM

Oak Ridge now has 89 miles of greenways on which people can walk and ride bikes, but they weren’t always a part of the city.

Dan Robbins, chairman of Greenways Oak Ridge, spoke to City Council in December about the 25th anniversary of his organization and how it, and the greenways themselves, got started.

“A system of trails and bike paths linking the community of Oak Ridge where citizens can enjoy nature’s beauty while preserving the environment and promoting health,” Robbins said, describing a 1992 citizen committee’s initial vision for the greenways.

He defined greenways as “linear parks or open spaces established along natural corridors,” which allow traffic flow for pedestrians and bicycles. However, he said that definition includes many kinds of paths in Oak Ridge, including simple cleared dirt walking trail, such as the Cedar Hill Greenway; Department of Energy patrol roads opened to the public, such as the North Boundary Loop Trails; and formed hard-surface trails, such as the Melton Lake Greenway.

Currently, the system includes nine miles of paved trails, 32 miles of gravel DOE patrol roads, 13 miles of dirt hiking trails and 35 miles of biking trails, including Haw Ridge Park.

Robbins said Council first authorized a citizens’ group to establish the need, feasibility and funding sources for greenways in 1992. They produced a report in 1993.

Robbins mentioned that report’s statement of greenways’ benefits for the community, which he said were still true. These include increased property values, attracting residents, allowing for motorless commuting, linking community facilities, providing recreational physical activity and providing an outdoor classroom. He said The Oak Ridger endorsed the concept in its Sept. 20 1993 edition and then City Council unanimously approved the concept the same day. The citizen committee, at Council’s request, became the group Greenways Oak Ridge.

Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the state of Tennessee, Cedar Hill Greenway, Oak Ridge’s first greenway, opened in 1994.

The Oak Ridger, as shown in a PowerPoint slide of Robbins’s presentation ran a story on its opening. The story quoted Greenways task force member Bill Matheny calling it a “Cadillac of greenways.”

Robbins said that greenway’s opening encouraged neighborhood groups to contact Greenways Oak Ridge for information on creating greenways in their neighborhoods. In May 1995, Elm Grove Greenway opened, and Robbins said it started due to enthusiasm by that neighborhood.

“We don’t have much money. Our capital is people’s enthusiasm and wanting to work with creating a greenway,” Robbins said.

He then gave details on the Melton Lake Greenway. The Oak Ridger mentioned a state grant for it in 1996, but Robbins said it was not complete until 2012.

Robbins spoke particularly well of that greeenway’s Phase IV from Edgemoor Bridge to Haw Ridge Park with its deer, squirrels, chipmunks, beavers, otters and 95 bird species. Robbins works as a trail steward for the section, walking it up to five times per week. The route connects to the Haw Ridge Park trails, which Robbins said attract many users.

He then mentioned partnerships with the DOE in opening some of its gravel roads to the public. DOE still owns them, but the city covers liability insurance.

On the west end, Robbins mentioned 12 miles of shaded trails that are part of the Black Oak Ridge Conservation Easement.

Robbins mentioned the responsibilities of the 10 trail stewards include picking up trash, but also more unusual ones such as handing out doggie bags to dog walkers. The trail stewards — he’s one — contribute 30 to 40 volunteer hours per month.

Robbins responded to various criticisms, including property owners who said greenways might lead to vandalism near their property.

“As it turns out, people who like to do vandalism don’t like to walk,” Robbins said.

Plans for future

Among the future projects is the Rails to Trails project, which involves converting CSX rails into trails. Robbins said it will connect Elza Gate to an area near the entrance to Y-12 National Nuclear Securty Complex. Robbins said the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) had approved $1.2 million of the cost while the city had committed $306,000. However, Robbins said the project will probably cost more than the sum of those two amounts.

At a separate meeting in December, city Recreation and Parks Director Jon Hetrick told the Municipal Planning Commission he hoped to have a contract ready to present to Council for that project in February. Hetrick said the right- of-way had not yet been transferred due to a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation grant requiring an environmental study and design work before the transfer.

“CSX has made it very clear that they very much want to sell us that property,” Hetrick said.

East Fork Poplar Creek Greenway was another project Robbins mentioned. He said it will go along the creek from the intersection of Illinois Avenue and Oak Ridge Turnpike to the West End Fire station.

Robbins also mentioned a long-term project.  “In the longer term — in our dreams — it would be nice to go from Elza Gate to

Clinton along the river,” he said.

Greenway implementation marks the largest planned expense in the parks section of the Capital Improvements Project draft, a document which sets aside money for long-term projects from 2019 through 2024. It includes $1.43 million in 2019 and $1.25 million in 2020, but no spending any of the other years. Only 20 percent of that funding comes from the capital projects fund with 80 percent coming from federal, state and other funding sources.

Call Ben Pounds at (865) 220-5502 and follow him on Twitter.