Cleveland State Community College tech center ready for Regents, Haslam

Cleveland State Community College tech center ready for Regents, Haslam

September 17th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in Local Regional News

Joe Flatt, employee with Rubber Tree Flooring and Design in Knoxville, prepares to add sealant to a concrete floor inside the new Technology Building at Cleveland State. The Cleveland school will open the 4,000 square-foot addition to the campus this week, according to Dan Miller, of J and J Contractors.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - A yearlong, $2.3 million construction project to bring state-of-the-art industrial training to Cleveland State Community College is a few machines away from completion.

This week, when the Tennessee Board of Regents meets on the Cleveland State campus, the center is expected to be ready except for industrial machinery to be added in a few months.

"The building has to meet the requirements for automated, computerized technology," project manager Dan Miller of J&J Contractors said. "The idea is that students will train here on the same types of equipment they will see in industry."

One example of that is the wide-open, perfectly smooth and level nearly 4,000 square feet of floor space.

The Board of Regents, Tennessee's governing body for higher education for community colleges, will hold its quarterly meeting Thursday and Friday at Cleveland State. Gov. Bill Haslam, Regents Chancellor John Morgan and Board of Regents members will be guests at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition Thursday at 5 p.m.

The Cleveland State project included a $2 million grant from the Board of Regents. The rest of the funding, including a "significant portion" from Wacker Chemical, was picked up by local matching funds, said Allan Gentry, head of Cleveland State's technology department.

The center was added to the college's existing technology building.

Gentry said high bay doors allow students to see all the building's systems. The addition also has its own energy-efficiency features, including sensors that adjust interior lighting to compensate for natural light coming through large windows or turn off the lights when no one is around.

The Board of Regents holds two of its four meetings each year in Nashville and two on visits to campuses across the state.