.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Jefferson Community and Technical College campus comes to Carrollton

-A A +A
By Sharon Graves

Landmark News Service After several years of hard work, the dream of building a new Carrollton campus for Jefferson Community and Technical College moved a big step forward last week. Local and state officials announced Wednesday, Nov. 21, that they have reached an agreement securing a site for a new campus. “This is an exciting day for education in Carroll County and in the region, and I’m happy to report the site for the new college is right behind you,” Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson told a crowd gathered at the front entrance of General Butler State Resort Park. As he made the statement, Tomlinson pointed to a wooded area across State Hwy. 227 from where the group was standing. The land he was referring to is owned by the Kentucky State Parks system. A portion is leased by Cardinal Hill/Easter Seals, which operates Camp Kysoc. Cardinal Hill is turning over ownership of the camp and its buildings to the Department of Parks for $800,000 – $600,000 will be paid for by the Park system, and $200,000 will come from the local Community College Foundation and Advisory Committee. The parks portion of the funding must now win approval in the budgeting process during the 2008 legislative session. In return, Cardinal Hill will operate the camp for six weeks each year, free of charge, for the remaining 90 years of its 99-year lease with the state. “And we’ll take part of the property to provide the campus you all need,” said Kerry Gillihan, Cardinal Hill president and chief executive officer. The rest of the year, the camp will be operated by the Department of Parks. Cabins will be available for rent to tourists and groups through the campground reservation program. The new campus will be built on 25 acres adjoining the camp, which the state will either lease or donate to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, which includes 16 community colleges, including JCTC. “Rarely does an opportunity come up where everybody wins,” said J.T. Miller, Commissioner, Department of Parks. “When Judge Tomlinson and Dennis Goff came to speak with me about this [project], everything came together. Everything made sense.” Construction of the new campus is included in JCTC’s six-year capital plan, and has been included in that plan since 2002, said Dr. Tony Newberry, JCTC president. “As you all know, the Legislature actually funded that new campus in 2006. You also know the rest of the story, as Gov. Fletcher vetoed [the project] and several other projects.” “So, at this juncture, this project is yet unfunded,” Newberry said, but stated that the campus project is one of the top projects being considered by the Legislature. “We still have funding issues, and I’m going to need your help,” said state Rep. Rick Rand, D-47th District. “We need help with letters [of support] and your contacts to help with the project. It’s not just for Carroll County, it’s for the region.” Rand said letters of support can help encourage legislators to approve funding for the parks department’s $600,000 payment to Cardinal Hills for the property and for the estimated $12 million needed to build the new JCTC campus. Plans for the proposed Carrollton campus includes building 40,000-square-feet of classrooms and offices that will allow much-needed space for courses in general education, as well as laboratory space for computer, modern biology, chemistry and physics courses. College officials hope to expand offerings to include more career-training programs, such as automotive technology and registered nursing. The new facility also will provide more space for customized workforce training and education programs, and allow for additional ACT, GED and workforce-related testing. The goal is to house all programs, including adult education in a single facility. Currently, the Carrollton campus offers educational classes and labs in its main building at 324 Main Street. Some of its adult education and English as a Second Language classes and other programs are held in a nearby church. The idea of bringing a community college to Carrollton began more than 40 years ago, said Dr. Tony Newberry, JCTC president. “Carrollton was the original location identified for a new community college in 1964, when the University of Kentucky was establishing community colleges. Funding and political will did not materialize for 25 years.” Through its workforce training programs, the Carrollton campus serves local industries, including Dow Corning, Arkema and North American Stainless. It has become a regional education center, Newberry said, drawing students from Carroll, Trimble, Owen, Henry, Gallatin and Oldham counties. E-mail us about this story at sports@hclocal.com.