by Sinclaire Sparkman
New building projects have been popping up all over the city of Spring Hill, making residents both excited for the opportunity to stay closer to home and also wary of large changes in infrastructure caused by the development.
Spring Hill is a sleepy community just far enough outside of Nashville to get the rural feel of long stretches of two lane roads lined with nothing but goat farms, ancient gas stations and acres of natural areas. With a ten minute drive to I-65 north and no direct access to any nearby interstate, Spring Hill has a cozy, isolated vibe to it.
With a tremendous growth in population over the last ten years, the city has begun to see more and more development taking over it’s rural charm. The main roads are peppered with various shopping centers and some big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Lowe’s.
Plans to build a 12-screen Carmike movie theater off Main St. have residents feeling relieved that their commute for entertainment may be lessened, and some think the movie theater will add more incentive for other businesses to move into the area.
“As long as the state maintains the roads, lights, street signs, and everything else, I’m good to go, and I’m excited for the growth,” said Niki Pennington, an eight year resident of Spring Hill.
Also to come in Spring Hill, a 30 acre park located on Port Royal Rd with three football practice fields as well as a splash pad and picnic areas. Construction should be starting on the Port Royal Park by the end of May, according to the Parks and Recreation department.
“The more things we can add to keep people from having to drive to Franklin, or anywhere, is definitely a good thing,” said Kevin Fischer, director of Spring Hill Parks and Recreation. “I think people are excited for it.”
The Parks and Recreation department also recently built the Walnut Street Skatepark to keep skaters from dangerous streets or from having to drive many miles to practice their skills.
New developments to Spring Hill are not limited to entertainment, though. The city has gotten inquiries from some industrial projects and hotels as well as many commercial projects.
There are concerns raised by the boom in the development and population growth, and the city is prepared to meet the demands. The problems associated with this kind of boom are mostly infrastructure problems such as building new roads to accommodate the large numbers of people moving into the area. Concerns of the public are generally centered around water quality and an increase in traffic, according to Paul Keltner, City Manager of Spring Hill.
Keltner also said the city is discussing with the Tennessee Department of Transportation the possibility of an interstate exchange with I-65 on Buckner Rd. These plans are still in the beginning stages.
For many, the draw of Spring Hill is the safety of a rural community in an up and coming suburban town. Some longer term residents might shy away from change, but all in all Spring Hill may soon be it’s own little metropolis.