NEWPORT—The City of Newport and Walters State Community College have entered into a lease agreement for the soon to be renovated Tanner Building.

Walters State will occupy space on the second floor of the building and will use that area to establish a Newport campus.

“We at Walters State are very excited to partner with government officials to create a physical presence for the college in Cocke County,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of the college.

“This site will make college much more convenient and affordable to Cocke County residents, and residents can expect to see more classes offered in Cocke County beginning this fall. The site will also give us the opportunity to work closely with employers in the area and teach the technical skills needed in the county.”

City of Newport Mayor Roland “Trey” Dykes, III said this new partnership will create momentum for future development.

“I sincerely believe that the addition of a WSCC facility for our community will prove to be a great asset for Newport and Cocke County,” Dykes said.

“We look forward to the many contributions they will make to our educational system, to our citizens, and to our students. I would like to thank all the people involved with this effort to make this happen, including the staff of WSCC, the Cocke County Partnership and the City of Newport. I believe this to be a first step in our community’s progress creating momentum for future development.”

Walters State has long offered night classes at Cocke County High School, usually offering four or five classes a semester. Dual enrollment courses, which enable high school students to earn both high school and college credit for a class, are also popular in the county’s high schools.

Many of these dual enrollment classes will move to the new site and be open to all students.

Walters State will also provide support services for students attending including advising, career planning, test proctoring and student engagement activities.

Once reopened, the Tanner Building will host the offices of the Cocke County Partnership, Cocke County Senior Citizen services, a tourism and information center with an area museum, as well as the Walters State Newport Campus.

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