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County OKs $23 million building plan at BRCC

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday authorized a $23 million capital plan that will result in a 50,000-square-foot classroom building, police training facility, Patton Building renovations and other repairs on the Blue Ridge Community College campus.


A joint facilities committee made up of two county commissioners, BRCC’s president and board chair has recommended that commissioners approve the proposal from architects Clark Nexsen and the BRCC Board of Trustees.
BRCC’s public safety programs include Basic Law Enforcement Training, Criminal Justice, Fire Protection, Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management. College officials have been talking for several years about the need for a new facility for the training program for the Police Officer Physical Abilities Test. The POPAT facility had been included in a law enforcement training center that former Sheriff Charlie McDonald proposed before he lost his re-election bid in a May 2018 primary.
BRCC President Laura Leatherwood told the joint facilities committee that the $23 million new construction and renovation plan includes:
• Classroom renovations and a new roof in the Continuing Education building.
• Replacing a chiller and air handler in the industrial skills building.
• Replacing a chiller, installing sprinkler system and upgrading the student center and replacing furniture in the Killian Building.
• Replacing the chiller, air handlers and furniture in the Sink Building.
• Replacing a boiler, installing a generator, renovating the classrooms for the plumbing, electrical and construction classroom and upgrading electric power in the Spearman Building.
• Replacing outdoor lighting, repairing roads, parking lots and sidewalks and upgrading wayfinding signs.
“Over the last 10 years we’ve moved programs, we’ve renovated space, we’ve moved them into better space but yet we’ve not replaced the signs about how to direct people to those particular areas,” McCall said.
The $23 million spending plan is funded by 2 cents of the property tax that commissioners directed toward BRCC improvements over the next four years. The work is expected to be completed by the spring of 2022.