Bluegrass Community and Technical College is expanding. Not only did the college begin construction on a new building today, it also broke ground on a new campus. The new four-story, 28-million dollar building is set to house eleven academic programs, including Computer Information Technology and will host about a thousand students upon completion. BCTC President Augusta Julian explained why the expansion has the potential to be transformative.
"Eastern State Hospital has occupied this site since 1817 and while they have brought services to many people, the college campus will really open up this site, it will bring neighborhoods together, and it will bring development into the area," she said.
As part of a land swap, Eastern State Hospital will move into a new mental health facility at the University of Kentucky's Coldstream Research Campus, and UK will acquire BCTC's Cooper Drive campus. Governor Steve Beshear said the deal took a great deal of negotiation.
"Complicated it was, but during a time of economic turmoil like the one we've been experiencing, it was a magnificent solution to a lot of problems," he said.
BCTC's enrollment rates have been on the rise during the economic downturn and officials are hoping the expansion will create more affordable opportunities in an underserved area of the community. The first building is scheduled for completion in Spring of 2013.