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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Business, Industry, Civic and Education Leaders gather for Smyrna Center Open House

October 24, 2013

Motlow College celebrated the opening of the new Science-Technology-Allied Health building on the Smyrna Center campus recently by welcoming business and industry leaders, elected officials, industrial board members and education leaders at an open house held inside the new facility.

Smyrna Center Open House photo slide show

Dr. MaryLou Apple, president of Motlow College, welcomes guests to an open house held recently at the Smyrna Center's new 35,000-square foot facility. Pictured with Dr. Apple, left to right, are: Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed, Christy- Houston Foundation Executive Director, Mr. Robert B. Mifflin, Mr. Bill Jones, Rutherford County Industrial Development Board, and Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess.
The 35,000-square-foot, two-story building provides additional classrooms; nursing, chemistry, microbiology and computer labs; faculty and staff offices; and a student success center. The building, completed in June 2013 ahead of schedule, was designed by Thomas, Miller & Partners, PLLC, and built by Messer Construction. The ground breaking ceremony was held on June 5, 2012.

Dr. MaryLou Apple, president of Motlow College, opened the program by welcoming invited guests and recognizing those who played a major role in the new facility moving from concept to reality, including Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed, Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess, Mr. Bill Jones, Rutherford County Industrial Development Board and Christy-Houston Foundation Executive Director, Mr. Robert B. Mifflin.

"Motlow College has been serving students in Rutherford County since 1998," said Apple. "Classes were first offered at Riverdale High School, then the Smyrna National Guard Armory, and finally in the new Motlow College Smyrna facility. By 2008, the Smyrna campus was offering classes seven days per week to meet the demand of student needs.

"Fundraising for this second Smyrna building was difficult," continued Apple. "It takes visionary, dedicated leaders to step up during tough times. Rutherford County is blessed to have leaders that stepped out during those tough times and believed in supporting initiatives that make Rutherford County and the State of Tennessee a great place to live."

Dr. Apple then thanked those who are listed on the 'Wall of Recognition' in the front lobby of the new facility, including the Town of Smyrna, Christy-Houston Foundation, Rutherford County Industrial Development Board, Rutherford County Commission and the Motlow College Foundation.

Individuals recognized for their financial support included Jay and Marilyn Hiatt, Carolyn and Don Midgett, Dr. Shelley McCoy, Mary Motlow, Bill Hayes, Dr. Sam Ingram, Hilda and Jerry Tunstill, Andy Womack, William Ransom Jones, Kevin and Elizabeth Fitch and Larry Pelfrey.

"Today, Motlow College celebrates the ability to serve more students in Rutherford County," added Apple. "We are approximately 2,000 students strong and we expect to continue growing each year."

She then thanked elected officials and their representatives on the state and national level, including state Senator Bill Ketron and Representatives Mike Sparks and Dawn White. Also present were Carlie Cruse, representing Senator Bob Corker and Tina Jones, representing Congressman Scott DeJarlais.

Members of the Motlow College Foundation were acknowledged for their efforts in raising matching funds, including Chairman Daryl Welch, Brenda Cannon, Bill Hayes, Todd Herzog, Dr. Sam Ingram, Brenda Lewis, Don Midgett, Gary Morgan, Lori North, Dave Parks, Jan Casey Rogers, Robert Stephens, Hilda Tunstill, Jerry Tunstill, Dr. Art Walker, Andy Womack and Bill Yoder.

"Since we began construction a year ago, Motlow College lost a great friend and supporter in former Motlow president Dr. Harry Wagner," added Apple. "We also thank former Motlow president Dr. Frank Glass and former state senator Jerry Cooper. All three were instrumental in our fundraising efforts."

Dr. Apple then introduced leaders from the Tennessee Board of Regents, including Chancellor John Morgan, Vice Chancellor David Gregory, Vice Chancellor Warren Nichols and Vice Chairman Emily Reynolds.

Representatives from Thomas, Miller & Partners, PLLC, included Don Miller, Al Thomas and Tim Yoko. Project Manager Adam Laker and Senior Project Executive Chris Steigerwald from Messer Construction were praised by Dr. Apple for their efforts in completing the facility in time to welcome students for the fall 2013 semester.

"Chris Steigerwald and Adam Laker added significant value to our expansion project," Apple said. "In the initial phase of construction, they presented numerous ideas to reduce costs but preserve the integrity of the design. They understood and shared Motlow's need to have the building open for classes this fall, and throughout the construction process, they displayed outstanding knowledge of project management to meet budgets and schedules."

She also recognized Keith Hamilton, plant manager from Bridgestone NAMEC, who has played a major role in Motlow's Mechatronics program by renovating space at the Bridgestone LaVergne facility and hosting the program's operation. Mechatronics combines mechanical, electrical, and computerized technologies that form systems used by many industries, and workers with the skills to maintain and repair the systems are in high demand.

Four student scholarships were awarded during the ceremony. David Prochaska received the Town of Smyrna scholarship, Mia Goodman received the Christy-Houston Foundation scholarship, Naomi Florentino Bustemante received the Rutherford County Industrial Development Board scholarship and Lindsay Buena received the Rutherford County Commission scholarship.

The second Smyrna Center building has grown the available square footage to over 52,000. The additional space has enabled Motlow students in Smyrna to be able to complete a variety of degrees and certificates, whether they plan to go straight into the workplace or to a four-year educational institution.

The Tennessee Transfer Pathways (TTP) degrees may be completed at the Smyrna Center. If followed exactly, the pathways guarantee admission to most public universities in Tennessee, including MTSU. A student who plans to earn one of the TTP degrees at a public university in Tennessee can go to Motlow College Smyrna for the first two years with all credits transferring and a savings of at least 25% of the total cost of tuition.

The Motlow Smyrna Center also offers an associate of applied science degree in Information Systems Technology with concentrations in Information Systems Specialist and Office Information Technology.

Motlow's nursing program is recognized throughout the nation as one of the best, and is offered to students at the Smyrna Center as well.

Working adult students have additional opportunities to earn degrees in Smyrna through the Adult College Express (ACE) program, the Weekend Warrior program, and through hybrid and online courses.