Expansion plans

State reaches agreement on land
for new JCTC Carrollton campus

Funding still must be obtained
to actually construct building

By Don Ward

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 Carrollton’s Main Street.

Tony Newberry, Rick Rand and Shorty Tomlinson

Photo by Don Ward

From 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 Hill’s 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.

Jerry Miller

Photo by Don Ward

Kentucky State
Parks Commissioner
Jerry Miller addresses
the crowd at the
entrance to Gen.
Butler State
Resort Park.

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.”
Carrollton’s JCTC is among the original campuses in the state’s community college system. The system was established in 1864, and Carrollton’s 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 Lerman’s 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 Industrial Authority.
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,” Newberry said.
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.”

Back to December 2007 Articles.



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