The Johnson City Foundry Site Development Project Collection began as a technical practicum for East Tennessee State University students enrolled in Dr. Carroll Hyder's applied research course taught through the Department of Technology. The project evaluated the development potential of the Johnson City Foundry property. The study specifically focused on the issues of rezoning and environmental hazards that may have been generated from the Foundry's production of steel and aluminum between 1907 and 1984. The six-member research team also examined the costs associated with the demolition of the Foundry buildings and land reclamation. Studying Johnson City zoning codes, environmental reports, and demolition bids, the student project concluded in its report that the Foundry property could be redeveloped "cost effectively" for use by either East Tennessee State University or privately operated service companies.
The collection contains correspondence, reports, maps, photographs, miscellaneous publications, a drawing, and a VHS videotape that document both the history of the Johnson City Foundry and Machine Works Company and the activities of the site development project. All of the materials, with the exception of the project report, were collected by the students during the practicum. The photographs illustrate products fabricated by the Foundry, depict construction projects that utilized its steel, and identify company employees and administrators. The videotape portrays scenes of the abandoned facility. The final project report identifies potential uses for the property after the completion of land reclamation.