IDB Donates $157K to Motlow Expansion
Growing school faces Friday deadline for
Courtesy of The Daily News Journal
The Rutherford County Industrial Development
Board voted Wednesday to donate $157,610 to help
Motlow State Community College expand in Smyrna.
Motlow is raising money and competing for a state
grant for a $9.4 million project. The college hopes
to construct a two-story, 35,000-square-foot
building to blend with the existing 17,500-square-
foot building that serves 1,941 students.
"We're in very, very tight quarters," Motlow President
MaryLou Apple told the IDB during its morning
meeting at the Rutherford County Chamber of
Commerce office in Murfreesboro. "There's no
She's seen the campus enrollment double from 986
students when it opened in 2006, and the college
administration projects growth to increase by 65
percent in the next five years.
The community college needs to provide a 25
percent match and will apply for the state grant by
Friday's deadline, Apple added.
Motlow is one of 13 community colleges eligible to
compete this year for $84 million for campus
construction projects. The Tennessee General
Assembly approved the funding, and Gov. Phil
Bredesen signed the financing plans into law for the
current fiscal year that started July 1.
The Tennessee Board of Regents will meet Dec. 2 to
award the grants, Apple said.
If Motlow wins the grant, construction should get
started by late summer of 2011 and take about 12
months to complete, Apple said.
Prior to Wednesday, Motlow had raised $1.6 million,
including the land, to put it at 17.32 percent of the
total project. The college moved to 19 percent with
the donation from the IDB.
The college will need about $614,000 more to reach
the 25 percent match requirement, said Larry D.
Pelfrey, Motlow's director of advancement for major
and planned gifts.
Apple said she will continue to raise funds even
after Friday's application deadline.
She told the IDB that there's only 4 square feet per
student at the Smyrna campus.
"You can't bury a person in that space," IDB
Chairman Jim Baker said.
The board is using its Community Development
Fund, which comes from fees collected from
developers seeking property tax abatement or
industrial development bonds.
The board had about $430,000 of uncommitted
money in the fund, IDB Secretary and Treasurer
Johnny Jones said.
Jones joined fellow board members David Waldron,
Ed Davenport, Randall Matlock and the others in the
unanimous vote to provide the $157,610 to help
Motlow build another building to benefit its
students, faculty and staff.
"They have already made a major difference in the
community," Waldron said.
Davenport said Motlow is providing the county with
more opportunities to attract higher-paying jobs.
Matlock, who's a local accountant, said Motlow
gives many local businesses the opportunity to seek
training for their employees.
The IDB has given money to the campus before,
including $60,000 per year for three years in 2005,
2006 and 2007.
The campus is partly known for its nursing
instruction. Constructing a new building will allow
these students to remain in Smyrna to take
microbiology instead of having to drive to either the
McMinnville or Tullahoma area campuses for the
course, Apple said.
Motlow also seeks to work closely with MTSU, which
is where most of its transferring students attend
after leaving the community college. Motlow offers
remedial and developmental instruction for those
needing to catch up on skills.
Business students are easily prepared to go onto
MTSU, Apple said.
Motlow is also seeing a rise in students during a
time of high unemployment. Many seek skills for
new jobs, including a two-year certificate for