ELIZABETHTON — The Tennessee Building Commission has selected Denark Construction of Knoxville as the construction manager general contractor for the $16 million campus consolidation project planned for the Tennessee Technology Center.
Preliminary site preparation is expected to get under way soon on a 12-acre tract at the TTC main campus on State Highway 91. Construction is scheduled to begin in March and completed by July 2013.
TTC Director Dean Blevins said the project will redirect funds now being used to lease training facilities off campus, reduce the waiting list to enter existing training programs and allow the center to quickly provide additional training programs requested by employers.
The project will add approximately 78,000 square feet of training space that will allow TTC to offer 10 full-time training programs now being taught at two of its campuses and at leased facilities in a single location. The new complex will include approximately 95,000 square feet of total space.
Steve Lucas, executive vice president of Denark, said the company has worked extensively in the campus environments and understands the responsibility of delivering projects on time and within budget while maintaining the safety of students, faculty, campus visitors and the construction team. Lucas said the company worked with the Tennessee Board of Regents since 2007, serving as construction manager and general contractor in higher education and skills shops projects.
Engineering Services Group and West, Welch, Reed, both of Knoxville, and Spoden & Wilson of Kingsport will be the design team engineers for the project. Reedy and Sykes Architects and Design of Elizabethton and Shaw and Shanks PC of Johnson City are joint architects for the project. The two architectural companies have worked together on state projects since 2006 and have worked separately on state projects for more than 20 years. Reedy and Sykes previously served as architect for a 1997 building expansion at TTC’s main campus. The 17,000-square-foot building is named after former state Rep. Ralph Cole of Elizabethton.
The Ralph Cole building currently houses TTC’s administrative offices, the campus bookstore, student services and classrooms and labs for the school’s business systems technology, electricity and electronics and millwright programs. The building will be renovated to house nursing and industry training labs and classrooms and a new administration building will be constructed to house administrative offices and TTC’s business systems technology, information technology and electricity and electronics programs. Diesel powered equipment and automotive technology will be housed in a separate building and welding, pipe fitting, plumbing, millwright skills and HVAC/refrigeration will be located in a fourth building.
The project also will include a new Industrial Drive entrance to the campus to minimize traffic congestion.
TTC began operations in 1965 as the State Area Vocational-Technical School located on Arney Street. In 1994, the state General Assembly changed the school’s name to the Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton. Subsequently, the school’s Arney Street campus was renamed the Herman Robinson Campus in memory of the late state senator who sponsored legislation to establish vocational technical schools within a 50-mile radius of every residence in Tennessee.