East Campus area of ACTC to be demolished this fall
The East Campus area of the Ashland Community and Technical College Roberts Drive Campus will be demolished this fall to make way for possible new construction that could meet current community needs.
“This is the beginning of a new chapter for the old campus,” said Dr. Kay Adkins, ACTC President and CEO.
The East Campus area of the Roberts Drive Campus contains the original buildings constructed in the late 1960s for the Ashland Area Vocational School. Additional buildings were added later at the West Campus area.
In 1990, the school was placed under a new KY Cabinet for Workforce Development and became Ashland Regional Technology Center. With the creation of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) in 1997, the Technology Center became Ashland Technical College. The Technical College and Ashland Community College merged into ACTC in 2003.
Over 30 years of classes in changing technologies took a toll on the campus, and in1998, ACTC asked the Kentucky Legislature for $6.5 million in renovations. Legislators, county judge executives and community leaders envisioned a new, state-of-the-art space for technology programs, and the Legislature added additional funding to the original Roberts Drive request in order to build Technology Drive Phase I.
Four technical programs moved into Phase I and five more programs moved into Technology Drive Phase II. The Cosmetology and Adult Education programs moved to the college Drive Campus in 2012. When the Workforce Solutions program moved to the West Roberts Drive Campus this spring, the East Campus was left empty.
The prospect of an empty campus actually began in 1999 with approval of the Technology Drive Campus. Despite hopes to fund an early college or high school program to use the property, efforts over the past several years to find alternative public educational uses did not work out.
Since annual expenses in the property are approximately $350,000 a year for utilities, maintenance and security, the decision was made to sell the property. Following state regulations on disposition of public property, the property was appraised and offered for sale, with no bids. The KCTCS project manager has said that the property would probably sell faster without the buildings due to their condition. The $6.5 million in renovations needed 15 years ago would cost much more today.
While the East Campus property will be prepared for new uses by others, the West Campus remains a viable location for ACTC. In addition to Workforce Solutions and the Entrepreneur Center, theWest Campus includes facilities for the Automotive and Diesel Programs.
“We know the positive impact that our technical training programs from Roberts Drive have had on the community over the years, and that heritage continues today,” Dr. Adkins said. “Modern facilities help, but it is the faculty, staff and students who teach and learn together that are most important to our future.”