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News: Roane State plans groundbreaking for new Fentress County Higher Education Center

A group of people standing with a "Coming Soon" sign.

Pictured (L-R): TCAT Oneida/Huntsville Vice President Amy West, RSCC Fentress County Campus Director Cheryl Tays, TCAT Oneida/Huntsville President Dwight Murphy, Fentress County Executive Jimmy Johnson, Rep. Kelly Keisling, Sen. Ken Yager, RSCC President Chris Whaley, and Upland Design Group’s Aaron Grohol and Allen Hill.

February 13, 2024

Roane State has announced a groundbreaking celebration for its new Fentress County Higher Education Center in Jamestown. The event will be held at the site of the new campus on the morning of April 5, 2024.

The Center is expected to be complete by Fall 2025. Once open, Roane State’s local campus (currently in Clarkrange) will relocate to the new site along with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Oneida/Huntsville.

An architectural rendering of a college campus.

The 49,000-square-foot facility will offer associate degrees and certificates in multiple programs from both colleges, including health science, automotive and diesel technology, welding, construction, and manufacturing technology. These credit programs will educate “job ready” students, preparing them for in-demand professions.

“The enhanced educational opportunities provided by this facility will allow our young adults to acquire the skills needed to land well-paying jobs close to home,” said Senator Ken Yager. “I want to thank Rep. Kelly Keisling, former Rep. John Mark Windle, County Executive Jimmy Johnson and the County Commission for their continued support of this project.”

“We are so pleased to see this new campus being built and the investment Roane State is making in our community,” said Fentress County Executive Jimmy Johnson. “Not only will the Center expand offerings for current students and adults returning to college, but it will also help us retain graduates in our area to meet local workforce needs.”

The Tennessee General Assembly approved a $25 million budget for the project in 2022 and the State Building Commission approved funding for the early design phase in December 2023. Temporary facility signage was installed at the entrance to the site in January, with pre-groundwork expected to begin soon.

“I know the people of Fentress County are thrilled to see this project move forward and we couldn’t be more pleased with the level of support from our many partners over the past few years,” said Roane State President Chris Whaley. “We hope everyone can join us this spring as we officially break ground on this new campus. It will truly be a community-wide celebration.”

Invitations are currently being sent for the groundbreaking on Friday, April 5, but the event will also be open to the public. The groundbreaking is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. central time. Attendees should follow signage placed at the site for parking on the day of the event.

Roane State’s current campus in Fentress County is located at 6844 South York Highway. The new Fentress County Higher Education Center will be constructed on the 33-acre site located at 823 Old Highway 127 S in Jamestown.

Questions and groundbreaking RSVPs can be directed to Tamsin Miller in the RSCC President’s Office by emailing miller@roanestate.edu.

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