NASHVILLE – State Senator Ed Jackson (R-Jackson) and Representative Jimmy Eldridge (R-Jackson) announced today that the State Building Commission has approved $18 million for a new Health Sciences Building at Jackson State Community College. The Building Commission approval comes after the project was funded by the General Assembly, with the support of Jackson and Eldridge, as part of the 2015-2016 budget which took effect last Wednesday.
The money will also be used for renovating vacated areas of the campus for use by the college.
“Jackson State has established state-of-the-art healthcare programs,” said Senator Jackson. “This was a high priority project for us. The action taken by the State Building Commission today will put this project in motion to enhance the programs at the college.”
The programs that will be served in the health building will be Radiography, Medical Lab Technology, Phlebotomy, Respiratory Care Technology, Physical Therapy Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, and Paramedic.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of the State Building Commission and for all the hard work of our state and local officials,” said Representative Eldridge. “This expansion is an investment in the future – tomorrow’s quality of life will be based on decisions to invest in education today. It is very easy to support a facility like Jackson State, which I truly believe is one of the finest community colleges in all of Tennessee, and I look forward to seeing these projects get underway in the near future.”
The 46,000 square foot Health Sciences Building was third on the Tennessee Board of Regents’ priority list when approved by the General Assembly. The State Building Commission approved planning for the building in July 2013 and shortly after Fleming Associates Architects was chosen as designer. In August 2014, Hoar Construction was selected for work on the project. Three phases are currently planned: 1.) Early-release site package 2.) New Health Sciences Building and the McWherter Center renovation and 3.) Nelms Classroom renovation.
The site package is scheduled to start in late November with the new construction and renovation to follow in March. It is hoped that the new Health Science Building will be complete before classes start in January 2017.
The State Building Commission also acted to approve $370,000 to update elevators in the Science, Classroom and Library Buildings of Jackson State Community College. The elevator modernization project was contained in the 2015-1016 budget approved by the General Assembly in April as well.
In addition, the State Building Commission approved $2.27 million for improvements at the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture in Jackson. The project will renovate an existing greenhouse and headhouse at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center.
“These upgrades will help Jackson State and the Tennessee Agricultural Research Center to educate and train the work force needed to attract the jobs we desperately need here in West Tennessee,” Jackson added. “I am honored to be a part of bringing jobs to our state and especially to West Tennessee. All of these projects will help in our efforts to prepare our campuses for new students as we work to graduate more Tennesseans from our colleges and universities.”