In an effort reestablish the Sunsphere as a thriving vibrant local attraction, as well as, ensure the success of the new restaurant on the fifth floor, “Icon Ultra Lounge”, small but critical changes are occurring around the Sunsphere.
The most immediate and noticeable effort is the “good neighbor” assistance from the Knoxville Convention Center. Some citizens were concerned that while the Henley Street Pedestrian Overpass is very well lit, the area in front of the convention center was very dark.
When City of Knoxville 311 Director,Russ Jensen, heard of these concerns, he immediately sprung into action. He contacted Mary Bogert, the General Manager of The Knoxville Convention Center. Bogert took immediate action, and now the lights in front of the Convention Center, including the overhang, will be lit from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am every night.
Furthermore, the Public Building Authority CEO, Dale Smith, has confirmed that the PBA is actively looking into placing lights at the steps leading to the Sunsphere and is now further exploring placing additional lighting around the base of the Sunsphere to make the area safer. The lighting would be faced down illuminating the ground where people walk and not the sphere itself.
Finally, in March, The Sunsphere is scheduled to have the outside windows cleaned. Due to the unique shape of the Sunsphere, it is a complicated task that costs $7,000.00 each cleaning and occurs twice a year.
At the last Public Building Authority meeting, Smith stated: “We have had lots of conversations regarding how to ensure Icon’s success…”