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November 15, 2010
By an overwhelming majority, citizens of Newberry County voted to continue the penny capital project sales tax. The referendum was passed with a 69 percent approval.
This “yes” vote means that plans to expand the Piedmont Technical College facility in Newberry County can move forward.
“We’re excited about this project, and we want to thank the citizens of Newberry for their support. We look forward to getting started on the renovation,” said Dr. Ray Brooks, president of PTC.
The project will re-use the former Walmart site in Newberry. The initial construction phase for the new facility will increase the center’s size significantly and will provide the college with the flexibility to meet the county’s needs in the future. The new space will ultimately allow PTC to more than double the square footage of the existing space on Wilson Road. The expansion will include much more classroom space and a dramatic increase in the amount of lab space available for academic programs.
“Ultimately, this means we’ll be able to serve a lot more students—and that we’ll be able to offer more students more full programs right here in Newberry County,” said Brooks.
“Due to the physical size of the current Newberry County Center, there’s been a limit on the number of students we can accommodate, and the kinds of programs we can offer,” said Jennifer Wilbanks, dean of County Centers. “We’ll now be able to accommodate new programs that include health care, industrial training and a dedicated lab for the readySC™ program designed to help strengthen the county’s efforts to attract new business.”
The Newberry County Center has been second only to the Greenwood campus for enrollment. This new space will allow the college to provide affordable, accessible higher education and job-specific training to many more Newberry County citizens.
“Now that this project has been approved by the voters, it will significantly improve economic opportunities for the people of Newberry County,” said Brooks.