|Members of the Health and Education Committee approved a $200,000 request Tuesday to help fund expansion efforts at one of the off-campus satellite sites of Motlow State Community College.
The funding request will now be put to the Rutherford County Commission for approval.
President MaryLou Apple of Motlow State Community College, which is based in Lynchburg, and Director for Advancement Jan Rogers submitted the request to the committee for financial assistance to expand its Smyrna campus.
Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess suggested splitting the donation into two fiscal years with the first $100,000 coming out of the development tax fund this year and another $100,000 in the next fiscal year.
“They have 87 percent of students from our county down there,” Burgess said, as he encouraged support from the committee.
The campus currently has one building with 17,500 square feet and serves 2,000 students. Apple explained the school has capped enrollment because it is simply maxed out.
“Motlow has been a real asset to the community,” said Commissioner Jeff Phillips (Dist. 17). “They serve more than just the young folks.”
Former Gov. Phil Bredesen designated $7.6 million for the expansion while in office. However, the project is now expected to cost $9.4 million.
Expanding the campus would include more classrooms and labs with the potential to serve a nursing program at the school, which it is currently unable to do at the Smyrna campus.
Having raised a substantial amount of money toward the project, Apple told the committee Motlow needs more than $397,000 to fund the expansion.
Apple also requested a $200,000 donation from the city of Murfreesboro to round out the total cost needed for the project.
She said members of the City Council chose not to respond to the request until Rutherford County made a decision.