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News: Knox County Government pledges $500,000 in support of new health science campus

Five people holding a large check.

January 24, 2024

Knox County has pledged a total of $500,000 to Roane State Foundation in support of the Knox Regional Health Science Education Center, a new Roane State campus being constructed in the heart of West Knoxville.

The county has already gifted the first $100,000 of the pledge to the Foundation, with plans to donate the same amount each year over the next four years.

The 130,000-square-foot facility will be located at 9575 Sherrill Boulevard, across from Parkwest Medical Center, and will house health science programs offered by both Roane State and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Knoxville.

Once open, the center will replace Roane State’s current Knox County Center for Health Sciences and allow both colleges to significantly expand health science courses and programs.

“I’m excited about the project and we’re proud to support it,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, who recently presented a check to college representatives. “Not only will this help our region’s healthcare providers by deepening our pool of qualified professionals, but it also opens the door to great career paths for the thousands of students each year who complete these courses.”

Current Roane State programs to be housed in the new center include nursing, EMS, polysomnography, and respiratory therapy, with the college planning to add new programs such as cardiovascular technology, healthcare administration, ultrasound, and public health.

Additionally, the center will feature a large multi-purpose simulation center aimed at immersing students in real-world scenarios that elevate their training.

“This project will allow us to serve our students at the highest level so they can enter the healthcare workforce highly skilled, ready to save lives and enhance patient care,” Roane State President Chris Whaley said. “We are so grateful to Knox County for supporting our mission of improving lives through higher education and building communities that truly thrive.”

“Shaping the lives of our students is why I get up in the morning,” said Kelli Chaney, president of TCAT Knoxville. “The partnership between our two colleges further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to students and shows employers we stand ready to train the workforce of tomorrow.”

The total estimated dollar amount for the project is $75 million. Roane State needs at least $7.5 million in private philanthropy to complete the project and sustain funding for the students who will attend.

Roane State broke ground on the project in the summer of 2023. The preliminary timeline has the center set to open in the fall of 2025.

Interested supporters can learn more about this effort and making a charitable investment in the project at thrive.roanestate.edu.

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