Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For Marion County Regional Institute For Higher Education

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Les Price, Marion County Commissioner, Jane Dawkins, Marion County Commissioner and South Pittsburg Mayor, John Graham, Marion County Mayor, Dr. James Catanzaro, Chattanooga State president, David Jackson, Kimball mayor, Julie Bennett, Chattanooga State Kimball site director, Howell Moss, former Marion County mayor, Henry Lodge, Lodge, Manufacturing
Les Price, Marion County Commissioner, Jane Dawkins, Marion County Commissioner and South Pittsburg Mayor, John Graham, Marion County Mayor, Dr. James Catanzaro, Chattanooga State president, David Jackson, Kimball mayor, Julie Bennett, Chattanooga State Kimball site director, Howell Moss, former Marion County mayor, Henry Lodge, Lodge, Manufacturing

It was a long time coming, but as Marion County Mayor John Graham said, “It’s the future of our entire region!” The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Marion County Regional Institute for Higher Education building took place amid a crowd of more than 100 people on Oct. 23. Regional and local government, business and industry, educational representatives and area residents were on hand to witness this historic occasion.

Mayor Graham was pleased to report that the initial phase of the site actually came in more than $600,000 under budget. That money has been applied along with a $1 million donation to begin phase two: the second of seven buildings.

Former county mayor Howell Moss said, “Almost 20 years ago, the technology boom came to Marion County. With one computer in town and without the knowledge to use it, it became apparent that residents of Marion County would need to retrain for the times.” Moss added that in the early 90s, the county was more worried about building primary schools in the area and had no money to consider a college. David Jackson, mayor of Kimball recalls, “The city of Kimball had one question…what do we need to do to get this done?” The answer became clear following a meeting with Dr. James Catanzaro, president of Chattanooga State: expand the community college service area into Marion County. The Chattanooga State Kimball site opened in 1993.

When a site became available, it was an old church on Battle Creek Road that the county purchased. Mr. Moss said, “We filled that up and needed more room, so we built on to the back. It wasn’t real pretty or fancy, but it was functional. We filled that up too.” Without any more room to expand and more students seeking higher educational opportunities, the county began looking at other options culminating in the purchase of a 125-acre piece of land called Holland Farm, off of Highway 41 just inside Kimball.

Excitement and pride was apparent throughout the ceremony. Representing the Marion County Commission, Les Price said, “ We’ve done a lot in the county, but this is the most important thing we have ever done.” Added Marion County Commissioner and South Pittsburg Mayor Jane Dawkins, “This is the single, most important, life-changing project we could ever be a part of for generations to come.” Finally, Henry Lodge of Lodge Manufacturing, representing industry summed it up, “It’s clear that industry is changing. Folks have to have the skills demanded in today’s world. Phase two will raise the economic value of the county for all citizens. The role of industry is to provide jobs and growth, but we can only grow with the necessary skill sets. Chattanooga State has innovative programs and there is no college better in the state to provide this!”

Dr. Catanzaro announced that Chattanooga State won the celebrated Bellwether Award earlier this year. This award is bestowed upon a community college with leading edge programs in community college practices worthy of replication. In a final address before the groundbreaking, Dr. Catanzaro said, “We are going to provide those programs and certificates to you as well.”

For more information about Chattanooga State visit www.chattanoogastate.edu or call the Kimball site at 423 837-1327.


Compton Selected As NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar

Not too many people can say they spent their summer engaged with NASA, but Jared Compton of Pikeville did just that. As a student in the Global Scholars Honors Program (GSP) at Chattanooga State Community College, Jared ‘s interest was piqued when he received an email from GSP director Amanda Bennett about an opportunity for interested students. “This opportunity called for community ... (click for more)

Boyd Buchanan School Unveils New Playscape For Elementary

Boyd Buchanan School has completed one of “the largest Elementary Parent Council funded projects ever,” according to Elementary Principal Gail Maddux. The school’s $90,000 new playscape design is inspired by children’s literature and contains storybook quotes throughout the area. “We took a nontraditional approach to the typical playground design,” said Ms. Maddux. “More than ... (click for more)

Residential Project At 1st And Cherry To Finish Out Units On Hill Above Market Street

More residential units are planned downtown near the riverfront on a steep lot at First and Cherry streets. The River City Company is currently seeking requests for proposals from developers for the steep 95-foot-by-65-foot lot behind the First and Market condos. River City officials said, "We are excited about how this parcel will put a finishing touch on this well established ... (click for more)

TBI Adds Jereme Little To Top 10 Most Wanted; Was Set Free By Judge Stern And Then Higher Court Overruled Her

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list Jereme Dannuel Little, who was freed by order of Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern, whose decision was recently reversed. Little is wanted by the Chattanooga Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for especially aggravated kidnapping. The TBI said, "Little has a history of ... (click for more)

Proud To Be A Conservative Conservationist

I was born and raised in Chattanooga and was brought up to be a Tennessee conservative. That means that my family conserved our spending, our resources, and yes, even our environment.  I think we were inspired to do so because Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States. We have stunning mountains, wild rivers and quiet backcountry. And many of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Adore America

If Heather Cross weren’t married and didn’t have such a fine-looking family I’d swear I might propose. The dazzling lady just wrote a “By Gumbo! letter” to all the major news outlets in the world to inform them that half of the Pelican State is still submerged by “a 1,000-year flood” and where the heck are they with their cameras? She knows it is vital for the rest of America to ... (click for more)