Pellissippi Foundation receives $50,000 for new Blount campus

State Rep. Joe McCord has presented the Pellissippi State Foundation with a check for $50,000 to benefit Pellissippi State Technical Community College’s new Blount County Campus. The funds are part of an allocation to the representative from the state’s Community Enhancement Grant Program.

“I’m extremely pleased to recommend this grant for the Blount County Campus,” said McCord. “Pellissippi State is a tremendous asset to Blount and surrounding counties.

“This is a small step in a long march to fully fund this much-needed facility, which will provide students with an affordable opportunity to continue their education.”

The college announced purchase of a building site of 39.5 acres, located on Highway 321, Feb. 1. Pellissippi State has had a presence in Blount County since the 1980s. Blount County Center has occupied the former Bungalow Elementary School since 1991 but has outgrown the aging facility.

“Our enrollment continues to expand there,” said Allen Edwards, Pellissippi State president. “We want to add new programs that will help meet the expectations of our students and the needs of local business and industry, and the new site will move us toward that goal.”

More than 700 students attend classes at the Blount County Center on Middlesettlements Road in Alcoa. Nearly 1,300 Pellissippi State students identify Blount County as their residence.

According to Edwards, the $22 million project will be funded in three ways: $17.2 million from the state, $2.9 million from the sale of the Blount County Center property and $2 million in private money, to be raised by the Pellissippi State Foundation.

A major gifts campaign is already under way by the foundation that earmarks the new campus as a funding priority.

The Community Enhancement Grant Program, approved by the Legislature in 2007, allocated $300,000 to each state senator and $100,000 to each state representative to distribute to nonprofit organizations in his/her community.

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