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JCTC campus in search of architects for master plan

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By Jeff Moore

Kentucky’s Division of Engineering and Administration is now soliciting architects to develop the master plan for Jefferson Community and Technical College’s new Carrollton campus.

Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson shared the “good news” with magistrates during Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting.

According to the solicitation paperwork published July 1, firms have until July 23 to submit their proposals for developing the master plan for the new campus, which will be located on 30 acres formerly part of Camp Kysoc across from the entrance to General Butler State Resort Park. Interviews with the firms will be Aug. 21, with selection of the architect to follow.

Tomlinson said he is pleased with the timeline for the master plan because it calls for the architect to complete work in 90 days. This means it will be ready to take to lawmakers just in time for next year’s Kentucky General Assembly session, where they will be working on a new state budget.

“This is just another little step to push this project forward,” Tomlinson said.

The state solicitation document says the campus will develop on a site recently secured in the county. “It will allow the college to expand the program currently offered at a leased facility in downtown Carrollton, provide testing and assessment services, technical training business and industry training facilities and expand postsecondary education opportunities in the region,” the project description states.

The campus currently serves six Kentucky counties — Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Oldham, Owen and Trimble counties. “The current leased facility that serves as the campus in Carroll County is extremely undersized to serve this six county region,” according to the project description. The campus also serves students from Switzerland and Jefferson counties in Indiana.

“One of the primary goals of a new campus in Carrollton will be to offer workforce training to assist in creating job opportunities in the region,” the project description states. “A new facility will help existing employers train workers in order to expand business and increase employment opportunities. A new facility would also assist in the recruitment of new business and industry to the region.”

The project description explains that the state is seeking a consultant team that includes experienced planning professionals who can work out of the college with city and regional planners toward spurring economic development.

“The consultants should include design professionals with extensive experience in community college planning, including technical program planning and the ability to facilitate discussions with faculty and staff,” the project description states.

This team of professionals will be expected to consult on the program through planning and construction of the new campus.

“Initial funding will include the review and update of current master development plan for the campus, programming for the first building, preliminary floor plans, cost estimate and conceptual drawings for community engagement,” the description states. The solicitation states that the maximum budget is up to $1 million for the project.

Tomlinson hopes with the master plan prepared and the site secured that the General Assembly will be able to fund the project next year.

“It’s been a long time since Kentucky has invested in these projects,” he said. Tomlinson said only the state’s larger colleges have been able to use their own money for capital projects.

In May, Tomlinson, representatives from local industry and JCTC officials hosted the Northern Kentucky Legislative Caucus in Carrollton to demonstrate the need for a new facility.

“This is a hub for higher education and workforce training for the region,” JCTC President and CEO Tony Newberry, Ph.D., told legislators.

With 800 students signed up for fall classes in 2013, he predicted that within two years of completion, the new facility could attract 2,000 or more students. “We’re trying to meet the needs of business and industry, but we can’t,” Newberry said at that meeting.