A First Look at the New Vol State Humanities Building

Arist rendering of the new Vol State Humanities buildingA major fundraising campaign is underway for a new Humanities building at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin. Donors and supporters had a sneak peek at the first artist renderings for the building during a fundraising event held recently at the home of Ted and Astrid Lyon. The Humanities building construction project is a big step forward for Vol State, to solve both overcrowding, and allow for a new level of teaching technology.

“This is exciting, because our students need more state of the art facilities in order to be more marketable in the workforce,” said Humanities Dean, Alycia Ehlert. “We’ll have many special lab spaces and collaborative areas to allow for more group work.”

Thirty-four percent of classes at Vol State are Humanities Division classes in the average semester. Departments include Theater, English, Communications, Entertainment Media Production, Philosophy, Art, Music, Recording Industry, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and Foreign Languages.

Vol State needs to raise ten percent of the projected $30 million cost. If it can do so, the State of Tennessee is scheduled to provide the other 90 percent. Major donors have been stepping up to support the project. David and Diane Black have pledged $1 million dollars for the building. Recently, the Sumner Foundation donated $300,000 and Volunteer State Bank has pledged $100,000. College Foundation Executive Director, Karen Mitchell says the campus and community are responding as well.

“We think it’s important to have the community involved in this fundraising effort, because of the benefits that come from having quality educational facilities in our area. We need help from everyone,” Mitchell said.

The Humanities Division has plays, concerts, festivals and art shows throughout the school year that are open to the public. WVCP radio and Vol State television programs reach out to the entire region.

“We want Vol State to be the cultural center of Sumner County,” said Dr. Jerry Faulkner, president of Vol State. “This building is another addition to that commitment.”

Once the money is raised, the project can proceed with final plans and bids for construction, hopefully in the summer of 2014. Donations can be made online by visiting www.volstate.edu/Foundation and clicking on “Giving.”


Artist renderings by Moody-Nolan, Nashville.