reaches agreement on land
for new JCTC Carrollton campus
still must be obtained
to actually construct building
CARROLLTON, Ky. (December 2007) Jefferson
Community and Technical College, formerly known as Jefferson Community
College, has operated successfully for 17 years in downtown Carrollton.
But rapidly expanding enrollment has put stress on the campus, which
currently has only 12,450 square feet of building space along Carrolltons
by Don Ward
left, JCTC President Dr. Tony Newberry
chats with State Rep. Rick Rand and
Carroll County Judge-Executive Shorty
Tomlinson prior to the Nov. 21
ceremony at Butler Park.
Community leaders in 2002 began lobbying the state Legislature
for money to build a larger campus. JCTC has asked the Kentucky General
Assembly for $12 million to build a new 40,000-square-foot building
that would replace the existing one the college leases in downtown Carrollton.
In 2006, the state Legislature funded the project, but Kentucky Gov.
Ernie Fletcher vetoed it.
The effort took a major step forward Nov. 21 when local and state officials
gathered at the entrance to Gen. Butler State Resort Park to announce
that park-owned land leased to Cardinal Hills Easter Seals Camp
KYSOC along Hwy. 227 would be returned to the state for use in developing
a future JCTC campus.
The prime parcel of state land near I-71, along with a $200,000 pledge
from the Carroll County community, will enable state Legislators to
move forward on securing money to build the campus, said Carroll County
Judge-Executive Harold Shorty Tomlinson.
We are committed locally to this project and are willing to put
up some money to make it happen, Tomlinson said. He would not
yet announce who would be providing the money, but added, Maybe
this will make the job of the General Assembly a little easier (to fund
the future campus).
Tomlinson led a short ceremony at the park entrance, introducing several
speakers that included Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Jerry Miller,
State Rep. Rick Rand, Cardinal Hill President and CEO Kerry Gillihan
and JCTC President Dr. Tony Newberry.
by Don Ward
Jerry Miller addresses
the crowd at the
entrance to Gen.
The press conference was called to announce that Cardinal
Hill had agreed to relinquish an ongoing lease it had on the state park-owned
land located just across the highway from the entrance to Gen. Butler
Park. The move will free up nearly 125 acres for development.
Miller said the agreement reached with Cardinal Hill to regain control
of the land a win-win situation for all parties involved.
It is rare in state government when something like this happens
where everybody wins, he said in his remarks. We are excited
to be a part of this and look forward to seeing the success that Carrollton
will enjoy with this facility.
Camp KYSOC has operated a facility for people with severe disabilities
since the early 1960s. Gillihan said the park has been a good neighbor
and offers residents a place set up for folks with disabilities,
perhaps more than any other park in the state.
Carrolltons JCTC is among the original campuses in the states
community college system. The system was established in 1864, and Carrolltons
campus opened in 1990 in a former shopping mall where Traderbakers Flea
Market is now located. In 1994, the campus moved into a renovated building
at 324 Main Street where Lermans Department Store once operated.
The building was bought and renovated with $800,000 raised by a local
foundation, plus another $100,000 from what was then the Downtown Carrollton
Over the years, the campus has offered classes to 250-300 students annually
from Carroll and neighboring counties, and has served as a training
site for many local industries throughout the region. But over the past
five years, enrollment has ballooned from 272 in 2003 to 755 students
this fall. That represents a 177 percent increase over five years,
Although the actual construction of the future building is unfunded,
Newberry said, Now the stage is set (to build it) because the
last piece of the puzzle has now been resolved.
Rand acknowledged that funding issues in the Legislature must still
be tackled, and he called on local residents to support the effort because
it truly is a regional project.
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