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BRCC to name new auditorium for Wyatt

BRCC President Laura Leatherwood announces that a new auditorium in a classroom building currently under construction will ne named for County Manager Steve Waytt. BRCC President Laura Leatherwood announces that a new auditorium in a classroom building currently under construction will ne named for County Manager Steve Waytt.

Blue Ridge Community college will name a new community auditorium/lecture hall in the new classroom building for outgoing County Manager Steve Wyatt, recognizing his support for $91 million worth of capital construction on the campus and his support of the college generally during his tenure as "the wizard behind the curtain."

"I know that the ultimate decision really lies with the Board of Commissioners to approve this but we also know that you are mastermind and the 'Wizard Behind the Curtain' that makes it a reality," BRCC President Laura Leatherwood told Wyatt and the Board of Commissioners during their regular monthly meeting Wednesday. "In recognition of your commitment to the success of Blue Ridge Community College and on behalf of the Board of Trustees we are naming the new community Auditorium/Lecture Hall in the new Classroom Building known as the Patton Project the Steven D. Wyatt Auditorium."

In remarks before that announcement Leatherwood ticked off the contributions Wyatt had made during his service as county manager since March 2006:

• In 2008, while conceived prior to your tenure, you assisted us in building the Technology and Education Center along with the Conference Hall resulting in a $16,059,393 investment.

• This facility sees over 65,000 people per year – we estimate more than 1 million people have visited this center since it was built.

• In 2014-2015 you facilitated the building of the Health Science Center on the Pardee Campus. This facility houses the Pardee Cancer and Surgery Center, Wingate University and Blue Ridge CC with an investment of $34,045,723. This public/private partnership was not an easy task but you got it done.

• In 2016 we built the Innovative High School on the Blue Ridge campus to open in 2017 with a capital investment of $15,735,166. You recognized that looking forward, education needed to look different.

• In 2019 you supported and designed the MRTS Capital Improvement Plan for Blue Ridge. This includes a new Classroom Building – we refer to as the Patton Project and also the Public Safety Center, also referred to as POPAT. These two projects resulted in a county investment of $24,500,000. These two projects will be completed in Summer 2022.

• And last but not least you helped us purchase the Llama Farm in the amount of $500,000 because we know in the future, this was a critical piece of the expansion of our college campus.

Earlier, the Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution of commendation and appreciation. During during his 15-year tenure, the resolution said, Wyatt:

  • Managed the county budget and ended each year with a surplus, worked to increase cash reserves and implemented a performance based management program that resulted in a reduction of county operational expenses.
  • Presided over budgeting that resulted in multiple upgrades in Bond ratings, resulting in significant savings to our citizens.
  • Managed substantial investments in the county’s public infrastructure – county facilities, schools, community college and hospital facilities, and coordinated numerous economic development projects.
  • Represented Henderson County through his service on boards and committees of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, North Carolina City and County Manager’s Association and Western Highlands Mental Health Board of Directors.