An exciting announcement was made at Cleveland State Community College on Tuesday. CSCC President Dr. Bill Seymour informed the faculty and staff that the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) approved a state-wide list of recommended capital outlay requests including $48.75M for CSCC to fund the first new classroom building on the campus in over 40 years.

“This is a huge step forward,” stated Seymour. “We greatly appreciate TBR’s recognition of our capital needs and including us on the list so quickly after our proposal.”

According to Seymour, TBR’s requests for capital projects still have to go through a review by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), the Governor’s Office and finally the General Assembly. Seymour said he is “hopeful” that they will fund all projects on the list.

There has been a great amount of planning that has precipitated TBR’s decision. Over much of this year, CSCC has been completing its new master plan. This plan included an in-depth analysis of the campus and yielded a set of physical priorities that led to the capital outlay request.

“This action is more specifically a result of the work we all put into the Cleveland State 2020 Community First Plan—specifically Goal #2 – which not only calls for a new classroom building, but a facilities renovation and renewal program to “provide state-of-the-art learning environments that promote student success.”

To gain access to state funds allocated for capital projects, the college must provide a 10% match which means CSCC will need to raise $4.87M to qualify for the full amount once approved in the state’s budget. Recently, Cleveland State announced its first major fundraising campaign – seeking a total of $15M by the end of 2020—$10M of that campaign is for capital projects, and $5M specifically to provide the 10% match on this capital outlay request.

Seymour also had some other exciting news to share with his faculty and staff—that CSCC was selected to receive the LEAP (Labor Education Alignment Program) Grant in the amount of approximately $500,000. LEAP is a state initiative that supports the Drive to 55 by awarding grants to community and academic partnerships formed to help communities align workforce needs with higher education.

In conclusion, Seymour encouraged faculty and staff to communicate with elected officials to let them know how critical it is to CSCC that this funding be approved. State Representative Kevin Brooks was in attendance at the event and stated, “I’m thrilled to be a partner with CSCC…I’m also thrilled that CSCC has the ingenuity and the knowledge base to put that kind of grant together that is able to be awarded for almost $1M. I think the best is yet to come. I congratulate CSCC, Dr. Seymour and his leadership and his fantastic CSCC team.”