JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Northeast State Community College is vacating its current Johnson City location at the Downtown Centre effective at the end of the spring semester.

A Monday afternoon email from Faculty Senate President Ross Roberts broke the news to staff members at the Blountville-headquartered school. Northeast’s lease with the Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA), which owns the building, was set to expire at the end of December. For a number of years, the school has leased the sizeable building for $1,000 a month.

Roberts wrote that the school was “offered a limited range of options that included extending the lease for 6 more months (max) at an increased rate and leaving at the end of this calendar year, or leaving now.”

Northeast State has leased the Downtown Centre from the Johnson City Development Authority since 2015. (WJHL photo)

He wrote that the options were roughly equal, spurring the quicker move.

JCDA Chairman Hank Carr told News Channel 11 the agency solicited a building appraisal after discussing Northeast’s future at its January meeting. That came back with a recommended value of about $10 a square foot, which would have netted a lease rate in the neighborhood of $30,000 a month.

Carr said the two parties last met about a week ago and JCDA shared that information and asked Northeast to come back with a response based on that appraisal.

According to Roberts, Northeast State President Jeff McCord “stressed the fact that Johnson City has a right to do what they want to do with its property and that—as an institution—we are moving forward with a positive attitude.”

He wrote that summer classes will be moved to other campuses and students will be informed of changes and the reasons for that. He said employees and faculty “will be flexed into space at other campuses as appropriate” and that Northeast’s Gray site is the likely home of many classes with the exception of microbiology and chemistry.

Unfortunately, we could not work out a long-term arrangement with the Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA) to continue offering classes at the Downtown Centre. We greatly appreciate the partnership with the JCDA and wish them the best in all future endeavors. We will continue to maintain an active presence in Washington County by expanding course offerings and student services at our Gray Campus.

Statement by Northeast State

Northeast State originally opened the campus, which primarily offers core classes, in the spring of 2015.