Haslam presents WSCC Greeneville a $1M grant
Gov. Bill Haslam (center) visited Walters State Community College’s Greeneville/Greene County campus on Friday to announce three grants for the area, including a million dollar pedestrian grant for the institution. Accepting the grant funding from left, are State Sen. Steve Southerland, Scott Niswonger, Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels and State Rep. David Hawk.
GREENEVILLE- The future of the Walters State Community College’s Greeneville campus in the downtown area will be a more accessible and pedestrian friendly one after Gov. Bill Haslam presented a million dollar grant on Friday.
The grant, allocated through congressional funding, will help complete phase one of the campus’ pedestrian facilities project.
The project includes making crosswalks for pedestrians on North Main Street and Tusculum Boulevard and connecting the downtown area to the school’s entrance’s and planned amphitheatre.
“As a former mayor, I love projects like this that connect our education facilities to our downtowns. There’s incredible work in the downtown area and having this will only help,” Haslam said.
WSCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lori Campbell expanded on what the grant will help fund for the project.
“Being this campus is in an urban setting, as much as one can be in rural Appalachia, being able to get the crosswalks in is a big thing. The grant will also add a bus stop for the new Northeast Tennessee public transit which is also new to the downtown area. We will also be able to crate a walkway for a beautiful green space in the middle of campus that will be shared by the community,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the goal of the grant is to help get students and visitors on and off campus safely.
“That was the priority and the reason we wrote the grant but we were able to get some other things in it too. When you have a building project like this, so often getting the things around your building to be included in the project is difficult. This money is going to allow us to get some things outside of the building we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to,” Campbell said.
The pedestrian grant will compliment the ongoing $20 million campus expansion with the new 84,000 sq. ft. building that will house general education classrooms, natural science and health labs, a student services area, library, auditorium, food services with cafeteria and the fire and police academies complete with a third floor dormitory.
Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels, who also introduced Haslam, said he was excited for the grants and thanked Haslam for his effort with the Tennessee Promise scholarship (free tuition for high school graduates to two-year schools) saying that it works hand in hand with the mission of several area school systems with dual enrollment programs.
Daniels was particularly thankful when Haslam announced additional grants for the city with $197,000 for a new hybrid automated solid waste garbage truck for Greeneville Municipal Solid Waste System. The hydraulic powered truck will help to protect the environment and be a cleaner source of energy which will save the municipality money.
Haslam also announced a $125,000 grant from state parks and recreation fund to replace the East View Recreation Center pool and convert it into a splash pad.
“All of these grants are aimed at improving the quality of live at the places Tennesseans call home. We talk about competing in business a lot and I see a lot of people here who have worked hard to do that, but at the end of the day what really attracts people is the quality of life. I think all of these grants do that,” Haslam said.
-By Chris Phipps, Tribune Staff Writer