Columbia State Community College held a press conference at their Williamson County Campus location in Franklin off of Hillsboro Road next to Franklin High School yesterday, confirming an earlier report by the Williamson Herald, that Columbia State would receive $6.5 million in state funding towards the purchase of property for a new campus in Williamson County.
Representative Charles Sargent made the announcement during the Williamson County Legislative Update sponsored by the Williamson County/Franklin Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning, and school officials confirmed it last night.
“This is an exciting day,” said Dr. Janet F. Smith, president of Columbia State. “The work for a campus for increased student higher education opportunities for the growing population of Williamson County has been recognized as a need by Williamson County and Columbia State for many years. This funding allows us to now put a stake in the ground and move to the next phase. We are fortunate to have a legislative delegation that understands the value of a Columbia State education for citizens of Williamson County, and that has been steadfast in their support. We are grateful for the leadership of Representative Sargent and the support of Senator (Jack) Johnson, and Representative (Glen) Casada in moving this project forward.”
“This is an exciting time for Columbia State,” said Rep. Charles Sargent told the Williamson Herald yesterday. “I know Dr. Smith is smiling – she probably thought this time was never going to come. The Columbia State project has been on the books for a number of years; this year we were able to move it forward.”
Sargent was in attendance at the press conference along with Smith, Tennessee Senator Jack Johnson and Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore, who has long been a supporter of Columbia State, and has served on the college’s foundation board in several different capacities – most recently Vice Chair.
Columbia State’s Williamson County Campus has served Williamson County residents for more than 30 years, and currently serves more than 1,400 students in the various program areas of Nursing, EMT/Paramedic, Business Technology, Commercial Entertainment, and more. However, the current building has been at capacity for the last several years, and a need for a new campus has been well documented by both the college, Williamson County and the State of Tennessee.