An architect’s rendering of the first phase of the proposed Jefferson Community & Technical College campus in Carrollton was unveiled Friday.
An architect’s rendering of the first phase of the proposed Jefferson Community & Technical College campus in Carrollton was unveiled Friday.
A new college campus in Carrollton could provide expanded learning space and bring educational training opportunities rarely found in the state of Kentucky.

Community officials had their first look at plans for the new Jefferson Community & Technical College campus in Carrollton during a meeting Friday afternoon.

EOP Architects of Lexington unveiled plans for a 50,000-square-foot building that would more than double the space of the current college building on Main Street.

Architects showed designs for a multi-level building with two wings - one dedicated to industry and technology and the other designed for classroom and office space.

The one-story technology wing features a classroom and labs for hydraulics, pneumatics, electricity, electronics, welding, applied process technologies and registered nursing.

A two-story classroom wing includes space for a library, adult education services, GED services, a testing center, two computer labs, a science lab and nine classrooms.

The project comes with a cost estimate of $16.3 million. The new campus would be located on property across from General Butler State Resort Park on KY 227.

The current downtown college building - which has five classrooms - limits growth for the community college programs, JCTC President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Newberry said during the meeting.

"We have to recognize it's undersized and under-resourced," he said.

The downtown college building has only 12,450 square feet of space for classrooms and offices, campus director Susan Carlisle said.

The college also uses several rented spaces throughout the community to provide room for other activities.

Newberry said the new campus will provide needed room for additional programs - and more students.

"We know there's going to be a huge potential for growth," he said.

Carlisle said officials have been in contact with local businesses to understand the educational and training needs for current and future workers.

"We've met with all the local industries," Carlisle said. "We've identified all of our local industry needs (in the plans)."

"The applied process technology is only one of two programs in the state of Kentucky," Carlisle said. "So we need to capitalize on that (by) bringing students in."

By creating new educational opportunities, Carlisle believes the new campus could become a destination for students across the state and create a brand for the Carrollton campus.

A brand is something the current college campus hasn't been able to achieve so far, she said.

The new campus could soon become a reality if funding is approved in the state's budget, Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson said.

"This is a project that this community and region has worked on for a number of years," Tomlinson said, noting the project had been vetoed once before by the General Assembly during the late 2000s. "Since that time, we've continued to push for it."

Earlier this month, Gov. Steve Beshear outlined his plan to invest in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System's capital projects for the first time in three budget periods during his budget address.

The governor's plan calls for bond issues to cover up to 75 percent of 16 critical projects. The remaining 25 percent of the funds would come from local communities or other public and private sources.

JCTC has identified the Carrollton campus project as its priority for years, Newberry said, which would give the project a good chance to move forward if the governor's plan passes the General Assembly.

Tomlinson said several legislators are aware of the need for the new campus, as the college doesn't benefit just Carroll County residents.

The new campus would provide needed educational resources for the entire region and the area industry workforce, he said. The campus currently serves students from the Carroll, Trimble, Gallatin, Henry, Oldham and Owen counties.

"It's important that we give that opportunity to our constituents. They'll have the opportunity to get a quality education at an affordable price and be able to stay in this area," he said. "This is another step forward to provide this college campus."