NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The budget proposal presented by Governor Bill Haslam to lawmakers Monday night includes $600,000 to build laboratories and add classrooms at the Campbell County Higher Education Center in Lafollette, according to Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro). The laboratories and 4,000 square feet of classroom space will support classes in General Biology I & II and Anatomy and Physiology I & II.
“Funding this project is one of my legislative priorities,” said Sen. Yager. “I am delighted to see that Governor Haslam included it in his budget. It will be a tremendous boost to the Center as we increase the number of local students who fulfill the dream of a college education.”
The classrooms would be added to the backside of the existing building under the plan. The new labs would allow Campbell County students to stay at home to get any one of many degrees requiring Biology or Anatomy & Physiology offered at the Center. Yager said the project is estimated at $1.1 and that in speaking with administration officials, he expects the remaining $600,000 will be included in next year’s budget. He does not anticipate delays in the project as a result of the two-year funding process.
“Those currently enrolled in Biology, Anatomy and Physiology must drive thirty miles from the Center in LaFollette to either the Huntsville or Oak Ridge off-campus site of Roane State Community College for lab work,” said Powers. “This is a burdensome requirement when most of our students are working full or part-time and find it difficult to go to college, much less have to drive an extra hour or two to do their lab work. This is also a non-reimbursable expense to students, many of whom struggle to find the funds to go to college.”
“The Tennessee Promise scholarship program will further enable many more students to attend the Center as we increase enrollment each year. We look forward to supporting the funds for this project as we move through the legislative process,” Yager concluded.
The budget proposal was heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. It is generally one of the last bills to receive final approval before the General Assembly adjourns.