NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT) system (http://tbr.edu/offices/tennesseetechnologycenters.aspx?id=322) has just undergone its most comprehensive analysis and planning process to date. Atlanta-based TSW, a planning, architecture and landscape architecture firm (www.tsw-design.com), has created a statewide plan for the TCAT system, which includes 11,200 students, and is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. During the year-long process, over 425 TCAT instructors participated, along with TCAT leadership and major Tennessee employers.
“The TSW team conducted detailed walk-throughs of nearly every building on over 30 campuses within the TCAT system, totaling 1.75 million square feet of space,” said Woody Giles, TSW associate and community planner. “We included facilities condition assessments as well as comprehensive inventories and analysis of existing space to determine whether or not each campus can adequately serve its current enrollment. Following the walk-throughs, a series of standards were developed to identify space requirements for new programs that will expand enrollment.”
The team examined geographic areas near TCAT campuses and analyzed the various sectors where employment is expected to stay strong and grow. The team met with employers and TCAT educators and made recommendations for future courses of study that will provide employment opportunities for graduates.
The Master Plan was developed to meet the following goals:
- Ensure that each TCAT campus has the space it needs to adequately serve its current enrollment
- Provide space for new programs that will expand enrollment and help meet Tennessee’s goals for more college graduates based on regional industry needs
- Identify the most serious facilities needs on each campus to create a safe, accessible, and non-distracting environment for students
According to Giles, the impetus for the project came from Tennessee’s Drive to 55 initiative (www.driveto55.org), which aims to bring the percentage of state residents with college degrees or certifications to 55% by 2025, and to help the Tennessee Board of Regents meet the goals of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010.
“In addition to the overall TCAT Master Plan, individual master plans were created for 30 TCAT campuses, addressing future workforce needs and each campus’s current ability to meet those needs through programs of study and appropriate facilities,” said Giles. “As Tennessee’s economy continues to strengthen, the presence of TCAT facilities and graduates will play a key role in the state’s ongoing economic development.”