Kingsport BMA approves ETSU, NSCC lease agreement

Matthew Lane • Nov 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM

KINGSPORT — The Board of Mayor and Aldermen signed off on a lease agreement between Northeast State Community College and East Tennessee State University that will soon result in ETSU expanding its Kingsport presence to the downtown academic village.

Earlier this month, ETSU announced plans to expand its educational footprint in the Model City next year by bringing more than 60 courses to Kingsport’s Academic Village, including courses in nursing, business and education.

The idea being the courses would be held at the Regional Center for Applied Technology beginning in January and focus on upper division and graduate level courses. ETSU officials have said the expansion would not affect its University Center at Allandale, which will continue to offer lower division courses.

Since Kingsport owns the RCAT building and leases it to NSCC, the BMA has to approve any lease agreements for the facility, which was done through a unanimous vote Tuesday night.

The lease agreement calls for ETSU paying NSCC $7,050 for three classrooms and a nighttime facilities manager within RCAT for the Spring 2013 semester. ETSU plans to secure 5,000 square feet of permanent space for classrooms in the downtown area near the academic village.

ETSU estimates 670 students would be attending the 60 to 70 classes the university plans to bring downtown. By 2018, ETSU esti mates that number would grow to nearly 1,000 students.

In other business Tuesday night, the BMA approved on final reading the annexation of Colonial Heights Area E — 48 acres of property with 61 single-family homes with portions of Lebanon Road, Chesterfield Drive and Winfield Court. The area contains 140 residents, 28 of which are school aged (16 elementary, four middle and eight high schoolers). Area E will officially come into the city in 30 days.

The approval of Area E essentially wraps up Kingsport’s latest annexation goals for 2012. Over the past five months, the city has been focusing its annexations efforts on a large section of property in the western quadrant of the Fort Henry Drive/Interstate 81 intersection.

This property, broken into five sections, amounts to 350 acres and approximately 820 residents. Of those residents, 130 are school- aged children and teenagers. Kingsport’s one-time costs for the annexation is nearly $7.7 million with $6.23 million going toward sewer line installation. The annual property taxes collected from the areas would be $319,000 with yearly expenses estimated to be $165,000.

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