August 29, 2016 — It’s time for another academic year! As the new school year begins, I am reminded that nothing is more important to the future of Campbell County, or Tennessee for that matter, than education. The Higher Education Center in LaFollette is more than just a place where students can learn, it is a beacon of hope for the future.
I am pleased to report that beginning fall semester, 2018, Campbell county students completing a degree program at the Higher Education Center in Lafollette will not have to drive to another campus to complete lab requirements. The new labs and support classrooms will be finished and open for business. According to Interim Chancellor, David Gregory, an architect who will design the labs should be on board later this summer and the project will go to bid next spring completed in time to start the fall 2018 semester. The State Building Commission has already approved the project.
Approximately 4,000 square feet in new construction and classrooms will be added to the existing building.
None of this would be possible without the appropriation of $1.1 million in the Governor’s FY2017 budget. Funding this project was one of my legislative priorities. With strong support from Rep. Dennis Powers we were able to persuade the Commissioner of Finance and the Governor of the need. Governor Haslam correctly viewed the appropriation as an investment in higher education which would complement his Drive to 55 initiative to encourage 55% percent of our adults to have a post secondary degree or certificate by 2025.
Completing the lab will remove another barrier for a student to complete his or her degree. I strongly believe that completing the labs will result in more students attending and completing a program and Campbell County Higher Education Center.
All of this is good news for Campbell County! I appreciate the support from Rep. Powers, Chamber of Commerce both city and county governments. There are not just walls hat will be going up at the Center, it is opportunities. The future is bright.