Prescott acquisition to provide new parking alternatives

The Tennessee Technological University Foundation is making plans for how to use the newly acquired Prescott Middle School building and surrounding grounds. Among other things, the property will provide 500-700 new parking spaces that will help with commuter parking problems on campus.The TTU Foundation purchased the property in 2008 but allowed it to be used by the Putnam County School System until construction on the new Prescott South school building could be completed and classes could be moved.

“We are pleased that the PCSS thought of us as natural partners in continuing education in the community,” Mark Hutchins, executive director of the foundation, said.

The Foundation is a private organization that supports University advancement through private donation programs. This means that the Foundation will have final say in what happens with the property, but it is also responsible for footing the bill for renovations and upkeep. For this reason, no funding for the project will come directly from the University.

Though the acquisition of this property offers much opportunity for growth, a plan for utilizing the space must first be solidified.

To start the process in motion, the Foundation board paid an architect to create a master plan for the property. This plan will tell how to best utilize the space available. Some ideas for space usage include meeting and teaching areas, office space, a banquet space and an area that will most likely house the entire University Advancement division.

“The property offers the University great opportunity for growth,” Hutchins said. “Not all universities have the chance to purchase 14 acres adjacent to campus.”

Once the plan is settled, renovations must be made to the property before any University offices or classes will move. While the property does comply with all fire and building codes and has a solid foundation, it will require some cosmetic work.

“We would like to see cosmetic upgrades,” Hutchins said, “to make the property representative of the best our campus has to offer.”

The renovations project will also include building a lighted walkway across the railroad tracks that will connect the new building to the rest of campus.

The Foundation Board will meet at the end of April to discuss the findings of the master plan. The Foundation is also continuously looking to raise donations to go toward the project. Since all the funds for the renovation process will come from private donors, renovations cannot start until the funds for the project have been raised.

For more information on the TTU Foundation, go to www.tntech.edu/foundation/home.