WSCC Commemorates New Construction Milestone
December 20, 2013
Walters State Community College commemorated a milestone in the construction of a new building at its Greeneville/Greene County Campus with a topping out ceremony on Thursday at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greeneville.
A European tradition that migrated to the United States, a topping out ceremony “often included inviting all of the villagers who helped build a new structure to a celebration in which a tree or leafy branch was placed on the topmost beam of the building,” said Walters State President Dr. Wade McCamey during his remarks.
“So, it is in that spirit in which we are here today to celebrate and recognize the many people who have supported this project to date,” he also said.
During the ceremony, supporters of the college, state and local elected officials, and Walters State students and faculty as well as other guests signed a steel beam that will be placed at the highest point of the new building.
Walters State began a major expansion of its downtown Greeneville campus in April 2013. The college is building a new 104,000 square-foot building so that it can add and expand programs and services. Construction of the steel frame will be finished in the next couple of weeks. The new building is expected to open in January 2015.
McCamey thanked several individuals and groups for their support of the Greeneville campus expansion, including local businessman and philanthropist Scott Niswonger.
“If it were not for Scott Niswonger, we would not be here today celebrating the expansion of the Walters State Greeneville/Greene County Campus,” McCamey said.
Niswonger made the l5 percent local match for a $9 million state capital outlay grant in support of the college’s $20 million Greeneville campus expansion project.
During the ceremony, Niswonger said that in order to create and retain local jobs, the percentage of individuals with college degrees and certifications needs to rise.
“If we are to remain competitive in the modern economy…then we are going to have to ensure that we increase local educational attainment rates,” he said.
“And Walters State plays a vital role in meeting this challenge,” Niswonger also said.
The new building will enable Walters State to add an occupational therapist assistant program and expand its physical therapist assistant program. The college also plans to expand its public safety programs at the campus, including the Walters State Law Enforcement Academy.
The new building will feature four natural science labs; four allied health labs; seven general education classrooms; four collaboratory rooms in support of the college’s nationally recognized mobile-learning initiative; a large learning-support emporium; three computer labs; a learning resource center; a 234-seat lyceum; a cafeteria, and a residential police academy and public safety training labs and classrooms.
Over 1,100 students are enrolled at the Greeneville campus.