Kingsport City Manager John Campbell and Mayor Dennis Phillips on Thursday said Harrogate-based LMU, one of the proposed participants in the center, is working with the city to offer Saturday education specialist classes at the Regional Center for Applied Technology this fall.
Bristol, Tenn.-based King College already offers classes from a Main Street building downtown, and King also has a joint nursing school venture in Kingsport with Wellmont Health System on the campus of Holston Valley Medical Center.
The RCAT, in operation two years, is already at capacity, but Northeast State Community College does not use it on Saturdays.
The proposed higher education center - to cost about $10 million and encompass about 50,000 square feet - would be built by the city, with possible grant help, operated by Northeast State and have two-year offerings from Northeast State.
Four-year degrees would come from the University of Tennessee, which may offer chemical engineering and logistics degrees, King College, LMU and possibly other schools including Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tusculum College near Greeneville, Milligan College near Elizabethton, Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va., and Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.
Campbell and Phillips said the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is to have a workshop on the proposal March 15 and consider moving forward with it at a regular meeting March 20.
Phillips is pushing for funding from the center to come from part of the revenue from the quarter-cent sales tax that has been dedicated to the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center. About $1.8 million a year in that money will be freed up in September, although the city's general fund is owed about $3 million for making up tax shortfalls for MeadowView over the years.