The Walters State Community College campus expansion in Greeneville is more than a year away from opening, but students and staff are bubbling with anticipation.
The grand opening for the Walters State Community College expansion won't happen for more than a year. There is plenty left to be done construction-wise; at the moment, the new building is nothing more than a shell.
However, the administration is pleased with progress and students are excited to see the finished product. "We're going to have more options for students to pick and choose, rather than going all the way to Morristown," said sophomore Kaylee Proffitt.
Proffitt is graduating this month with a degree in social work, but she's not done with the college. "I'm coming back to get my masters in occupational therapy," she told us.
Campus Dean Drucilla Miller told News 5 that Occupational Therapy is just one of many new programs Walters State will offer in the new building. "There will be a physical therapy assistant program. We're expanding our police academy, maybe bringing some homeland security classes here to the Greeneville campus. The theater, the arts," said Miller.
The expansion will have plenty of room for the added course offerings. Miller said the campus addition will cover 104,000 square feet and should be completed in the spring of 2015. "We've had little holdup during the weather, although they did work all during the cold. We're hoping that within the next month of May our brick will be going in and also our windows," said Miller.
In addition, the Tennessee Department of Transportation recently gave Walters State a $1 million grant to pay for changes to utility lines and campus access. Dean Miller told News 5 some of the grant money will go to improving crosswalks.
Student Shelly Lusk thinks the added access is a big plus. "Having new sidewalks and crosswalks for them to be able to get to and from their car to the college safely is going to be great, " said Lusk.
Dean Miller said the project has a price tag of $20 million.
Walters State Community College currently has 1,000 students enrolled at the Greeneville Campus.