As Williamson County’s campus of Columbia State Group State School prepares for the development of a brand new arts and sciences building, the establishment’s Maury County grounds are subsequent in line for a brand new constructing, in keeping with the faculty’s management.
A proposed Southern Regional Know-how Middle will function a state-of-the-art facility, increasing the faculty’s footprint in well being science and industrial expertise.
“It strains up nicely with what the wants are,” Janet F. Smith, the president of Columbia State Group School instructed The Day by day Herald. “Heath and industrial expertise, the worth and the necessity for these packages have change into evident. It grew out of the necessity we’ve got for higher services which might be extra in keeping with right this moment’s expertise and what must be accessible.”
Smith stated the title of the proposed facility displays the mission of the faculty and its companions to supply residents with the vocational coaching and certifications wanted to additional progress the southern Center Tennessee area in expertise.
“It’s wanted to create jobs for our residents,” Smith stated.
Due to the initiative’s huge neighborhood help, Smith stated the state acknowledged the necessity as nicely.
She stated the constructing’s design will foster collaboration and alter the best way college students take into consideration approaching work of their future roles.
“We’re a constructing that will increase collaboration between every self-discipline,” Smith stated.
A regional hub for vocational coaching
A joint initiative, the brand new constructing will host Columbia State’s personal packages in addition to extra alternatives supplied in partnership with the Tennessee School of Utilized Know-how’s neighboring campuses in Pulaski and Hohenwald.
Though Columbia State is spearheading the proposal, the trouble is taken into account a statewide undertaking, Smith stated.
“As a school that’s searching for to satisfy the wants of its workforce and the neighborhood, we proceed to work to stay versatile,” Smith stated. “Because the neighborhood modifications, we additionally work to satisfy the wants.”
Anticipated to price $41 million, Smith stated the faculty has gathered greater than $1 million in native contributions, which will cowl a 4% match required by the state.
The undertaking has acquired preliminary approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents and is now underneath overview by the Tennessee Division of Surroundings and Conservation.
First proposed in 2017, Smith stated the undertaking is subsequent in line for the state’s annual finances.
Final yr, the undertaking was thirteenth on a listing of proposals from the Tennessee Board of Regents — all 12 initiatives previous the brand new constructing have been permitted.
“We proceed to advertise it wherever we will,” Smith stated. “It’s a want for the neighborhood and the necessity has continued to develop much more so. We stay hopeful.”
A significant replace
The brand new constructing will function a serious replace for the faculty’s college students, pursuing careers in well being informatics, radiology and respiratory care. It’s going to stand as a brand new venue for the Columbia State’s rising industrial upkeep program, providing, college students the abilities and coaching to pursue positions within the area’s rising manufacturing discipline.
The hassle expands alternatives for college kids to peruse accredited vocational coaching within the discipline. The Columbia campus has beforehand paved a brand new highway ahead with its mechatronics program. The initiative, launched in 2015, set a brand new commonplace providing local high school students an opportunity to graduate with dual high school diploma and associate degree in the field.
First new constructing in 20 years
When permitted, the brand new constructing would be the first new addition to the Columbia campus in 20 years.
The newest new addition to the Columbia campus, the Waymon L. Hickman Constructing, was devoted in 2001.The constructing is residence to the Cherry Theater and the faculty’s arts and music packages together with the Pryor Artwork Gallery.
In 2019, the faculty’s John W. Finney Memorial Library was renovated at a price of $6.5 million, updating the constructing into the digital age.
Smith stated the brand new construction will carry a a lot wanted improve to the faculty’s medical disciplines.
“Our well being science lecture rooms are insufficient to be educating for right this moment’s world,” Smith stated. “Our facility is outdated to show as we want it to show. This can being the packages updated.”
Supported by lawmakers
The Tennessee School of Utilized Know-how stays a prime merchandise for Maury County’s state representatives with Rep. Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, and Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, who voiced their support for the project in recent months.
“We’ve to maneuver the ball on schooling,” Cepicky instructed members of the Columbia Metropolis Council earlier this yr.
Cepicky stated he plans to help funding for the new constructing at Columbia State, describing the undertaking as a “an actual deal changer.”
“Our [Tennessee College of Applied Technology] facilities and Columbia State do a unbelievable job, but when we’ll increase on our well being sciences and nursing, why not lead the state proper right here in Columbia, Tennessee?”
Aligning college students with the wants of the longer term
Smith stated the trouble straight aligns with Gov. Invoice Lee’s administration to supply extra vocational alternatives to Tennesseans.
“This can be very essential to our neighborhood and southern service space,” Smith stated.
“It’s a want on this neighborhood and it aligns with the imaginative and prescient of the governor.”
In 2019, Gov. Invoice Lee proposed $25 million in one-time cash and as a lot as $5 million a yr in lottery funds to pay for an growth of vocational training in Tennessee, a proposal that was permitted by state lawmakers.
The identical yr, Lee’s administration launched the Governor’s Funding in Vocational Schooling (GIVE) program as an effort to prioritize alternatives for continued profession and technical schooling in rural communities statewide.
Within the first set of grants for this system, greater than $800,000 went to Columbia State’s Williamson County campus to present the faculty with funds to buy a cellular classroom to help the faculty in providing Cyber Protection programs at Williamson County Colleges.