Village Report

From the Sewanee Mountain Messenger 8/30/2019

As Summer gives way to Fall, the Village Project continues to methodically move forward. The most significant progress in August has been with the new Bookstore. The foundation and building pad have been completed and actual construction has begun! Materials are arriving on site daily and soon we will see this project going vertical. With any luck it will open its doors by the Easter semester.

The specialty food market/apartment building is progressing as well. The developer met with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to identify the exact location of the new narrower road boundaries in order to site the 15,000 square foot, 2 story building on the south east corner of Lake O’Donnell Road and 41-A. The schematic design is completed and after a review, work will begin on the construction documents. Ground breaking could be as early as this fall. Our Developer, BP Construction, is planning to hold an information session for those interested in the apartments and other housing options they are considering for the Village. Announcement of this session will be provided once a date is selected.

              The Kim Butters Pilates studio, BodyWorks Youniversity, is finishing up its construction documents and planning to break ground later this fall. This building will be located between Sewanee Reality and Tabatha’s at 115 University Avenue.

Although classes started earlier this week, there is a 1st year student orientation program that began nearly 2 weeks earlier. It is called Finding Your Place (FYP). It introduces students to the campus, coursework, faculty and classmates. It explores many aspects of the Domain and provides a context for the unique learning environment that Sewanee has to offer. Over 100 first year students break into groups of a dozen or so led by a faculty mentor. They focus on specific topics that Sewanee and the domain in general. Part of the program includes a visit to the Sewanee Village. On Wednesday evening August 21st , FYP students spent time visiting several of the Downtown Businesses. They learned about the Sewanee Village and what services are available to them. The Business community was thrilled to have this opportunity to interact with students. This exemplifies the true nature of how our downtown businesses contribute to the BIG picture for those that choose to come to this place to obtain their education. Hats off to the many businesses that participated. My hope is to create more of these interactions as part of our overall Village Project vitalization efforts.

This month’s Village update session will be held on Tuesday September 3rd at 10 am and another evening session at 4:30 pm. The sessions will be held at the Blue Chair. Everyone is welcome to attend and find out about the latest development activities. It is also a great opportunity for me to find out what is on people’s minds and to address specific items of interest related to the project. This month’s feature will focus on visitors to Sewanee. Specifically, what assets do we have in Sewanee that will attract those near and far to come and visit us. The ability to attract visitors is an essential building block to support our existing businesses and to add new ones. In fact, the Sewanee Village project will be working with the Babson Center this fall and the Department of Tourism from Middle Tennessee State University this coming spring to assist with identifying our assets and developing a strategy to generate activity to attract visitors to Sewanee. So, I would like to get your input on this. If you aren’t able to attend the update meeting and have some thoughts on this topic, please contact me. I’m all ears.

Hope to see you there!


Frank X. Gladu is a Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and project Manager for the Sewanee Village Development. He can be reached at or 931-598-3397. More information about the Sewanee Village Project can be obtained at the web site: and the Facebook page: “Sewanee Village Project”  and on Instagram at the “Sewanee Village Project”


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