The largest project in the history of a local community college officially started today.
Ground was officially broken for the once delayed Technical Education Complex at Northeast State Community College.The 114,475 square-foot building will house the divisions of Business and Advanced Technologies. The complex will replace the oldest buildings on campus, which were built in the 1960s and early 1970s.
“When you look right now, workforce development and marketable skills are one of the most important keys in education right now,”, NSCC President James D. King said, “This building was put on hold a year ago due to lack of funds. And in one year, we were able to make the campus financially sound enough for the building commission to approve the start of this building.”
The complex will feature two main floors, plus a courtyard level that will house division offices. The ground floor will house classrooms, lab space, and faculty offices for Advanced Technologies. It will have lab space for instruction in computer numeric control (CNC) machining, welding, HVAC/electromechanical, electrical and wiring, magnetics and motors, and programmable logic controller (PLC) /mechatronics.
Entertainment Technology, part of the Business Technologies division, will also have a lighting and sound lab, recording studios, and a sound editing room on the first floor. The top floor is home to Business Technologies and will feature lab space for business, computer programming, PC maintenance, cyber security, networking, accounting, professional office administration, entertainment technology, and an entrepreneurial center as well as faculty offices and classrooms.
“There is no better time in the history of community college for workforce development skills. Industries are clamoring for technicians right now and this building is going to be state-of-the-art in every way,”, King added, “You are going to replace two buildings that were built 52 years ago and they are totally inadequate for what we do today. We’ll be able to double or triple the amount of students that we can teach in those technical education programs right now”
The project dovetails with Gov. Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative, a campaign to raise the number of Tennesseans who hold two- and four-year degrees to 55 percent by 2025. Currently, only 32 percent of residents have earned a college degree. Projections show 55 percent of all new jobs will require a degree.
The project has a completion date of spring 2020.