Pellissippi State Community College is planning a huge expansion.
Officials announced plans Friday to build a science and math building on its Hardin Valley Campus in Knoxville and a workforce development center on its Blount County Campus in Friendsville.
It's the schools largest expansion in 44 years.
"Today is a historic day at Pellissippi State," said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. "Never before have we had two capital projects occurring simultaneously. Never before have we set a $10 million fundraising goal. And never before have we engaged so many volunteers in the process."
Pellissippi is the state's largest community college with 10,894 students on five campuses in Knox and Blount counties.
The new 82,000-square-foot science and math building will house classrooms and lab spaces.
"Pellissippi State's general biology lab is in use for 12 hours a day, five days a week, with most labs at full capacity," said Kane Barker, dean of Natural & Behavioral Sciences. "Many students need this course and other math and science classes in order to graduate on time. This new building will double the capacity for many of our core courses."
Officials say they must grow to meet a growing student population with people taking advantage of Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, last-dollar scholarships offered to high school seniors and adults without college degrees, respectively.
Pellissippi State plans to break ground on the $27 million science and math building this spring and open it in fall 2021
In Blount County, the new 62,000-square-foot workforce development center will help fill the area's need for highly skilled, college-educated employees.
"This new building will allow us to expand our Engineering Technology, Computer Information Technology and Culinary Arts associate degree programs and certificates," said Teri Brahams, executive director for Economic and Workforce Development for Pellissippi State. "We would not be here today without DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee's commitment to expansion and employment in Blount County and their advocacy on behalf of manufacturing in our state."
Officials hope to break ground on the $16.5 million workforce development center in December 2019, and classes will start there in fall 2021.