TCAT programs move into Hamilton County High during renovation

TCAT programs move into Hamilton County High during renovation

December 17th, 2018 by Meghan Mangrum in Local Regional News

Two of Chattanooga State's Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology programs are temporarily moving into space at Hamilton County High in a move that will benefit both TCAT students and Hamilton County students, school leaders say.

Chattanooga State Community College's motorcycle and marine services and welding programs will be relocated in space intended for career and technical programs at the school, as the programs' building on Chattanooga State's main campus undergoes a $2.3 million renovation.

"The building is a 49-year-old building, so it will be renovated with updated space and newer technology," said Jim Barrott, executive vice president of Chattanooga State's TCAT. "We are adding about 4,500 square feet of new space to make it more technologically advanced and allow us to expand our programs."

Now there are about 40 students between day and evening welding programs and 25 students in the motorcycle and marine services program, Barrott said.

When the programs move out of those bays, the college intends to leave the equipment there and develop a shared program with the school district.

"We are going to leave it in a cooperative arrangement so that we can offer dual-enrollment courses at Hamilton County High," Barrott said.

John Maynard, the school district's director of career and technical education, said the partnership will give the district a boost on plans it has to use the space and offer it for programs, especially for Central High and Ooltewah High students.

"We only have welding programs at two other places, Howard and Sequoyah," Maynard said. "Welding and health science have been by far the most in demand, so we are getting to add these programs."

The district hopes to add two Future Ready Institutes and offer other programs including mechatronics and robotics, architecture and engineering design, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems (MEP) next year.

The county school board approved the partnership unanimously at its quarterly meeting on Dec. 13.

"We are excited about partnering with TCAT. They will be bringing a lot of programs in and there's some future benefit for Central and Ooltewah," Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Bryan Johnson said. "They are coming in and doing a lot of the work."

Barrott said the college anticipates construction and renovations to be completed in 2019, with the programs moving into their new space by the fall of 2019. At that time, Hamilton County students will have access to the facilities.

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.