Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date: May 12, 2010

For more information contact, Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247

Open House/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Southwest Macon Academic Building Culminates Years of Anticipation

The recently held Open House/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Southwest's new Macon Cove Campus Academic Building culminated years of anticipation for the construction of a facility large enough and technically advanced enough to handle the challenges of providing educational services to a growing media-driven student population. "We believe that this facility will enable us to achieve our goal of improving access by providing needed and expanded higher education services for students in our service area. Additionally, it will enhance our teaching and learning environment by allowing us to expand existing programs and offer new ones as well," said Southwest President, Nathan L. Essex.

Among the many Southwest faculty, students, staff, supporters and friends who came to witness the ceremony were elected officials, representation from the Tennessee Board of Regents, and community and business leaders, along with Southwest retirees.

U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee's 9th Congressional District remarked in his greetings, "Community colleges are so important to the future of this state. Our whole future is tied up in the children. That's the future. … We need to give them the basics that will give them a better life and a better education. We all know that through college you have a better opportunity for a better job and a better appreciation for life."

The new academic building contains 28 classrooms, 16 computer labs, six science labs, three conference rooms, a presentation theatre, dean's suite, faculty offices, three elevators and a vending area. The building also contains suites for the service-learning and honors programs, and will improve classroom learning for the graphic arts, paralegal, music, EMT and other programs. This 106,000 square-foot two-story building was a joint venture designed by Fisher & Arnold Inc. and Looney, Ricks, and Kiss Architects Inc.

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Photo caption: Cutting the ribbon on Southwest's new Macon Cove Campus Academic Building are (left to right) Southwest Provost and Exec. V.P. Joanne Bassett; Congressman Steve Cohen; Southwest President Nathan L. Essex; V.P. of the Southwest Foundation Board Mary H. McDaniel; Charles Temple, former President of State Technical Institute at Memphis and now President Emeritus of Southwest; and John Farris, member, Tennessee Board of Regents.