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.


GNTC Announces 2015 GOAL Nominees

Eighteen Georgia Northwestern Technical College students have been selected as the college’s nominees for the 2015 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership, according to Dione Waddington, coordinator for the college’s GOAL program. The nominees were announced at a reception held at GNTC’s Gordon County Campus. Each nominee was presented with a certificate and an orientation ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Residents Graduate With Honors From MTSU

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee sat down with several students, including three Hamilton County residents, to discuss their plans after their Dec. 13 graduation with honors from the university. Carly Duffy and Jalisa Jones, both of Chattanooga, and Kaitlin Pitre of Soddy-Daisy were three of the students recognized at commencement as cum laude (with honors), magna cum laude ... (click for more)

Police Say Texts From Slain Minister Detailed Drug Deals

An investigator testified Thursday that a minister who was beaten to death during an apparent drug deal had texts on his phone dealing with similar exchanges of illegal drugs. The minister's wife said he had gone out that night as part of a church counseling program to women. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound charges of felony murder and especially aggravated ... (click for more)

Police Say Woman Brought 12-Year-Old Son On Burglary Outing

Police said a woman brought her 12-year-old son on a burglary outing. Melinda Sue Meyners, 31, of the Extended Stay in Hixson, was charged with aggravated burglary, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, criminal conspiracy, theft of property, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and having contraband in a penal institute. Her boyfriend, ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last Day Of School

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Chattanooga News-Free Press in the early 1980s and every year since then I have been asked repeatedly about it. It is easily the most famous story I have ever written – copies have been sent to me from numerous foreign countries -- and it may be the easiest story I ever wrote. All I did was write what the noted religious psychologist ... (click for more)