officials hope money
is restored for expanding JCC campus
Helen E. McKinney
CARROLLTON, Ky. (February 2007) When Kentucky Gov.
Ernie Fletcher vetoed funding for an educational project in Carrollton
last year, many citizens were deeply upset. But the project is about
to get a second chance.
Officials at Jefferson Community and Technical College have wanted to
expand its Carrollton Campus for quite some time. Last years state
budget proposal included $11.5 million for this project. State Rep.
Rick Rand said this total was based on an estimate from the college.
The 2006 budget included too many projects, more than
the budget could accommodate, said Rand.
Fletcher was concerned with the bond rating for Kentucky, so he
cut several projects, said Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold
Shorty Tomlinson, a staunch proponent of the campus expansion.
Tomlinson is hopeful that the money will be included in the new state
budget. He feels the chances are pretty good because the General
Assembly members supported it before.
The House plans to file a bill on the first or second day it is in session
in February, to restore all of the vetoed projects, Rand said. He is
confident about funding for the project, which has been bumped up to
$12 million. He added that if too much time is allowed to elapse, the
price of lumber may drastically increase, thereby increasing the cost
of the project.
The educational impact is high for this project since a larger college
campus could be used by many surrounding counties who all show
support for this project, said Tomlinson. Carroll County Fiscal
Court presented a check for $10,000 to the campus in January 2005 as
seed money to expand its outreach program.
Before the General Assembly session in which the initial project was
presented, Tomlinson took 700 letters of support to the governors
office in Frankfort. All neighboring counties, businesses, industries
and various individuals supported the project, Tomlinson said.
Everybody in Carroll County is involved with it, said Tomlinson.
The county will probably put up some money for the project, and Tomlinson
said he hopes contributions can be sought as well.
For additional funding resources to become available would be wonderful,
said Susan Carlisle, Campus Director for the Carrollton JCC Campus.
Im a positive thinker, said Carlisle. But until
the ink is dry on the paper, Carlisle will hold her breath in
anticipation of the General Assembly allotting the funding.
She said the college desperately needs to build a new building at a
new location to expand its services. She would like to see expansion
in the area of work force skills training, especially in the technical
fields, and build on the practical nursing curriculum.
The Carrollton campus is responsible for providing adult education services
in Gallatin, Trimble and Carroll counties. It also targets the Hispanic
population, many of which need to take English as a Second Language
classes to help them find better jobs.
Were a new campus equipped with a large meeting room become available,
this would also aid the community, said Carlisle. More space would mean
room for additional testing and student activities.
She said she would love to see the colleges health care offerings
expanded. A larger, better-equipped anatomy and physiology lab is long
past overdue for more thorough training.
Parking has always been an issue at the current location at 324 Main
St. Parking is lost when the river rises, said Carlisle.
With close to 700 students registered for the fall 2006 semester, the
three-story building was full to capacity. The college offers dual credit
to students, giving them the chance to obtain high school and college
credit for selected courses. Online courses are available as an extension
of an accelerated program offered through a partnership with Midway
Due to lack of space, the Carrollton Campus has been forced to offer
curriculum in different community facilities, such as the high school
or public library, to provide services to students. Equipment
comes from other campuses, then has to go back, said Carlisle.
Tomlinson said four different sites to build a new campus are being
considered, but he preferred not to disclose the locations because of
land acquisition efforts. The state-owned Easter Seals of Kentucky turned
down the campus earlier request to purchase land and build on
Hwy. 227 just across from the entrance to Gen. Butler State Resort Park.
If allotted the $12 million, the money would be spent on the planning
and design phase of the project, Tomlinson said. Additional money would
be needed to acquire land. Depending upon the availability of the money,
Tomlinson wants to have things in place so there is not a long waiting
period to complete this project.
Im very excited with the anticipation that this will become
a reality, said Carlisle.
Rand said: Its not just a Carroll County project, its
a regional project.
Back to February 2007