MHEC ceremony planned

Classes began at the McMinn Higher Education Center on June 1 and a grand opening ceremony is planned for this Friday.

An event several years in the making is planned for this Friday.

The McMinn Higher Education Center, located at 2345 Denso Drive in Athens, is already hosting classes and a celebration of the new structure is set for Friday, June 11 at 10 a.m.

The center for collaborative higher education includes the Tennessee College of Applied Technology — Athens (TCAT), Cleveland State Community College (CSCC) and the McMinn County UT Extension Institute of Agriculture. This project relocates current CSCC leased space, expands TCAT Athens programs and relocates both UT Extension and Adult Education and creates a space for local industry training to upgrade the existing workforce.

With the creation of the new center, more students will be able to complete degrees in Athens without needing to drive to Cleveland. Cleveland State will now be able to offer more general transfer, biology and chemistry labs, as well as expand both business and agriculture programs.

In addition, TCAT will be moving its Machine Tool and Die and Electro-Mechanical Instrumentation programs to the new facility, creating additional space for HVAC and Construction Technology.

A partnership with McMinn County and the UT Extension will provide ongoing operations funding and expose a range of citizens to opportunities available through the College System of Tennessee. This facility was designed so that TBR can offer programs by both TCAT and community college to meet market demand with the flexibility to develop the programs and training of new industries.

Classes began on Tuesday, June 1 in the new structure.

Originally known as CAMBI (Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Business Innovation), planning for the center has been in motion for several years, but a groundbreaking ceremony in September of 2019 began the process of actually building the structure.

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