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Roane State Community College Building $75M Health Science Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

Wed July 10, 2024 - Southeast Edition
Roane State Community College

Construction crews hoisted and installed the final piece of steel for the new Knox Regional Health Science Education Center.
Photo courtesy of Roane State
Construction crews hoisted and installed the final piece of steel for the new Knox Regional Health Science Education Center.

Tennessee's Roane State Community College hosted a ceremony July 2 to mark a major milestone in the construction of the college's new $75 million Knox Regional Health Science Education Center in West Knoxville.

The site is one of nine Roane State campuses in eastern Tennessee. Its flagship school is in the Roane County town of Harriman, while others are located in Oak Ridge, west of Knoxville, and in the nearby counties of Campbell, Cumberland, Fentress, Loudon, Morgan and Scott.

Construction crews hoisted and installed the final piece of steel for the facility's frame as part of the event. Project supporters and members of the community were invited to watch the "topping off" event. Many of those in attendance signed their names to the beam prior to it being lifted into place at the top of the structure, according to a Roane State news release.

"This moment is symbolic as we move ever closer to opening the doors of this new campus, a facility which will help the college fulfill its mission of strengthening lives through the power of higher education and building thriving communities," noted Scott Niermann, executive director of the non-profit Roane State Foundation.

"Healthcare professionals are with us during the best and worst times of our lives, and the need for these skilled workers has never been more critical," he added. "With the future of the healthcare workforce to be educated right where we stand today, this campus will likely touch each and every one of us."

Located at 9575 Sherrill Blvd., across from Parkwest Medical Center, the new 130,000-sq.-ft. facility will house health science programs offered by both Roane State and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Knoxville.

The Knox Regional Health Science Education Center will replace Roane State's current Knox County Center for Health Sciences and allow both colleges to significantly expand health science courses and programs.

The new campus is expected to educate more than 8,000 students each year in a variety of healthcare roles and is currently set to open in the fall of 2025.

College Expanding Its Healthcare Curriculum

Roane State programs to be housed in the new center include nursing, EMS, polysomnography and respiratory therapy, with the college planning to add new programs such as cardiovascular technology, healthcare administration, ultrasound and public health.

Additionally, the center will feature a large multi-purpose simulation center aimed at immersing students in real-world scenarios that elevate their training.

Roane State Foundation is seeking at least $7.5 million in private philanthropy to complete the project and sustain funding for the students who will attend.

Roane State provides transfer and career preparation study options, as well as continuing education and developmental education. Designed for students who plan to transfer to senior institutions, the community college system's academic transfer curricula include two years of instruction in the humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences to build a strong liberal arts background during the freshman and sophomore years.

Career preparation programs at Roane State train students in advanced manufacturing, business management, computer information technology, health science and other fields for students desiring associate degrees or certificates. In this role, Roane State offers Nursing and 13 other health science programs.

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