Groundbreaking held for new TCAT-S campus

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Friday, April 22,  at the site of the new Bedford County Higher Education Center on U.S. 231 North. The facility, part of 231 North Business Park, will be the new main campus of Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville and is scheduled to open in 2024. 

TCAT Groundbreaking 2  (State-VIPs) - Copy
From left: Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham; architect Art Carlton of Bauer-Askew Architecture; Dick Tracy, executive director of facilities development for Tennessee Board of Regents; Laura Monks, president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville; Tennessee House Speaker Pro Tem Pat Marsh; State Sen. Shane Reeves; and Shelbyville City Council member Henry Feldhaus. (Bedford County Government photo)

"This project is going to affect people's lives that haven't even been born yet," said County Mayor Chad Graham during the ceremonies.
The current TCAT-S facility on Madison Street is crowded, resulting in waiting lists for many programs, and other potential programs that can't be introduced at all. The new campus will allow more room, and its location in the industrial park will provide opportunities for customized training related to the park's future tenants.
"This is something that a college president just dreams of happening," said TCAT-S president Laura Monks. She said the plan is to have the facility open by fall 2024.
A variety of local and state leaders worked together to make the project possible and convince the state to fund it. Shelbyville and Bedford County governments made land in 231 North Business Park available. State Rep. Pat Marsh, who is speaker pro tem of the Tennessee House of Representatives, and State Sen. Shane Reeves pushed for state support.
Bedford County School Superintendent Tammy Garrett said that Bedford County has just learned that it will be receiving $1 million in funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs at local high schools, which she said ties in perfectly with TCAT's growth and expansion.
Dick Tracy, executive director of facilities development for Tennessee Board of Regents, was also among the dignitaries participating in Friday's ceremony. TBR is the parent organization for Tennessee's community colleges and TCATs. 
TCAT Groundbreaking 3 (County) - Copy
From left: Assessor of Property Ronda Clanton, Highway Superintendent Mark Clanton, County Commissioner Linda Yockey, Trustee Tonya Davis, County Commissioner Greg Vick, County Mayor Chad Graham, TCAT-S President Dr. Laura Monks, Tennessee House Speaker Pro Tem Pat Marsh, State Sen. Shane Reeves, County Commissioner Jeff Sweeney, School Superintendent Tammy Garrett. (Bedford County Government photo)

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