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.



Band Showcase Is Feb. 24 At Brainerd High

A Band Showcase will be held Saturday, Feb. 24, at Brainerd High School.  It will begin at noon.  Bands to perform include Brainerd High School and Tyner High School, as well as two schools from Nashville, Maplewood and Pearl-Cohn. Tickets are on sale at the BHS band room for $10. (click for more)

Cleveland State Celebrates Opening Of Food Pantry

Cleveland State celebrated the grand opening of its new food pantry, the Cougar Den, on Wednesday afternoon. The goal of the food pantry is to provide assistance to CSCC students in need. (click for more)

Woman Killed At Foot Of Lookout Mountain After Truck Loses Brakes

A woman was killed at the foot of Lookout Mountain on Saturday morning after her car was struck by a truck that had lost its brakes coming down the mountain. The victim was identified as Mallory Baldshun of St. Elmo. A child in her Toyota Tacoma had minor injuries, police said. The driver of the International Prostar truck, James Wilson, also had minor injuries. Two ... (click for more)

Hixson Home Destroyed By Fire Early Saturday Morning

A home was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning in Hixson. Around  2:30 a.m. , the Dallas Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded to a possible house fire at  904 Wesley Drive  in Hixson. When the first unit arrived on the scene, they reported the second floor of the home was completely engulfed with fire. Firefighters conducted a defensive ... (click for more)

Six Things We Can Do About Mass Shootings

All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.   And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s Time To ‘Prepare’

On Friday morning, this after a crazed human being killed 17 innocent children and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, I sat in a room with Sheriff Jim Hammond and members of his command staff and asked what everyone us want to know: “What do we do?” Gino Bennett, the sage guiding force, sat beside me and he told the room, “The time to ‘prevent’ is over ... (click for more)