Site Preparation Being Completed; Steel Frame Is Set To Go Up By Fall
BY KEN LITTLE
Site preparation at the new Walters State Community College Greeneville-Greene County campus is nearly done and work on the 84,000-square-foot facility will soon move to the next phase, college spokeswoman Debra Williams said Monday.
Johnson & Gaylon Construction, the Knoxville contractor working on the project, has finished demolishing buildings on the site bordering College Street, Tusculum Boulevard and North Main Street.
"Currently, site preparation work is being completed and the contractor expects footers to be set in July," Williams said in an email response to questions about the project.
The steel frame of the $20 million building will begin going up this fall, Williams said.
The Greeneville-Greene County campus is on track to open in the fall of 2014, Williams said.
PROGRAM GETS APPROVAL
Meanwhile, one of the programs expected to be offered at the Greeneville-Greene County campus received final approval last week from the Tennessee Board of Regents.
The occupational therapist assistant program got approval from the Board of Regents at its June 20-21 quarterly meeting, Williams said.
The program will open with about 20 students. Students will also be able to take the physical therapist assistant program at the Greeneville-Greene County campus after the enhancement plan is completed. The campus will then have new labs and space for clinical training.
The nursing program expanded to the Greeneville/Greene County Campus several years ago. That has been very successful.
One goal of the Walters State expansion is developing and expanding workforce training and educational programs.
The project is designed by Greeneville-based architect John Fisher and his architectural firm, Fisher + Associates.
Fisher has said that the building will house the college's residential police academy, the proposed fire academy and allied health programs.
The building will also include natural science and allied health labs and areas for student services that include a library, counseling, tutoring and financial aid.
It will also house a 234-seat auditorium, faculty and staff offices, a dining room and a cafeteria.
The design by Fisher also includes outdoor spaces, such as a pedestrian plaza, and possibly an amphitheater, he said.
PLANNED IN PHASES
A $9 million appropriation for the project from the Tennessee Board of Regents is the largest single state-supported capital outlay in the 41-year history of Walters State.
Greeneville businessman and philanthropist Scott M. Niswonger has committed about $2 million to the project, which officials said will help revitalize downtown Greeneville.
The project will be built in phases, college officials have said.
Currently, 1,100 students are enrolled at Walters State. The expansion could bring as many as 1,500 more students to the downtown area for classes, college officials said.
Stormwater drainage improvements around the construction site were completed earlier this spring in a joint effort by the Greene County Highway Department and the Greeneville Public Works Department.