Roane State opens door to more educational opportunities with new Fentress County campus

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CLARKRANGE, Tenn. (WATE) – Roane State Community College’s educational investment in Fentress County is already being seen just a week after opening its newest campus.

College administrators, elected officials, residents and students celebrated the opening of the relocated Roane State campus Oct. 9 in Fentress County.

Fall semester enrollment is up 30% as nearly 80 students are currently enrolled in classes there.

Roane State President Chris Whaley said the new campus was made possible by the Tennessee Board of Regents’ “unwavering commitment to providing the highest quality teaching and learning environment for our students and faculty and by the support of this community.”

“This represents a tremendous step forward for what Roane State can do for the students of Fentress County,” State Sen. Ken Yager said.

The new campus allows Roane State to have its own space after working out of the former ROTC building at Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown.

“This facility is amazing,” campus director Tinisha Key said at the open house. “It opens the door to a lot more educational opportunities.”

The new facility is nearly three times larger than its previous location and features a computer lab, study space, student lounge, offices, and six classrooms, all offering video conferencing technology.

“This allows us to expand course offerings to students in Fentress County without them traveling long distances to another campus,” Whaley said. “This is the only [Roane State] location that is completely Zoom-enabled.”

Businessman and Roane State Foundation member Philip Hall owns the building and made it available to the college.

“Today is a starting point for us as a community, and we are so happy we were able to contribute,” Hall told the crowd.

Hall said long-term plans call for Roane State and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology to consolidate on a new campus near Jamestown.

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