Shaw and Shanks to design Northeast State at Johnson City renovations

Northeast State has announced that Shaw & Shanks Architects, P.C., has been selected to design the Downtown Centre renovation. The facility at 101 E. Market St. is the future site of Northeast State at Johnson City.

Northeast State recently signed a five-year lease for the Downtown Centre with the Johnson City Development Authority.  The college’s plant operations personnel have been in the process of cleaning and landscaping the building’s interior courtyard as well as preparing for sending out bids for painting and cleaning the facility.

The Shaw & Shanks firm will direct design renovations for Northeast State at Johnson City.

Shaw & Shanks, a Johnson City-based company, will prepare design plans that will allow Northeast State to move ahead with renovations that will meet required building, fire, and city codes and create space for offices and classrooms. Northeast State officials expect to meet Shaw & Shanks representatives in the near future. JCDA has committed $1 million in funds for interior renovations.

Given the scope of the renovations, the center will likely open for classes in the spring 2013.

Northeast State alums making mark in McNair Program

Four Northeast State alumni are participating in the Ronald E. McNair Program at East Tennessee State University will be presenting their research projects on July 20 from noon until 3 p.m. at Nicks Hall Appalachian Studies Conference Center on the ETSU campus.  Northeast State graduates Cathy Blados ’12, John Goad ’09, Nancy Sarvis ’10, ’11, and Robin Walsh ’12 were selected to the McNair Program.

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is named in honor of Ronald E. McNair, an astronaut killed in the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion in 1986.  The program is one of the U.S. Department of Education’s special initiatives known as TRIO that serve and assist disadvantaged students in their educational endeavors.

The summer pre-research internship is open to eligible undergraduate students from any accredited college campus; with priority given to local/regional students. The goal of the McNair program is to increase the attainment of graduate degrees; particularly PhD’s by students from underrepresented segments of society such as students who are from low-income or first generation backgrounds.

Summer no vacation for college maintenance crews

The summer season means vacation time for many.  Summer usually means the beginning of a rigorous work season for the Plant Operations department at Northeast State Community College.

“We have several significant projects going on at the main campus and our teaching sites this summer,” said Pete Miller, director of Plant Operations at Northeast State.  “In addition to routine maintenance activities, summer traditionally gives us time to complete detailed and significant renovation projects at all our sites.”

Summer break is no vacation for the men and women who take on campus maintenance and renovation.

A renovation of the Atrium entrance connecting the James H. Pierce Building on the main campus in Blountville begins this summer as the design phase nears completion.  When completed, the project will have constructed a new ‘main entrance’ to the campus, including a covered drop-off area, new finishes and HVAC system for the Atrium area.

Construction crews recently completed installation of new roofs on the Faculty Building and south end of General Studies Building.  Several office and classroom spaces get new paint and carpet. The College grounds crew installed new picnic tables with concrete pads along the Allen Hurley Wellness Trail on the main campus and more improvements to the wellness trail are planned in the near future.

The Sciences Department offices get an update.

Miller also said the College had initiated a campus-wide project to create new signage, parking spaces, and building access points as outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The project addresses updated ADA requirements and will be completed in phases over the next few years.

The auditorium in the Student Services Building gets an update this year with new seating, acoustic panels, finishes, stage floor, and a wheelchair lift to access the stage. Still in the design phase, the auditorium renovation will begin later this year with a completion expected before year’s end.

New signage and building access points have been added at the main campus.

The College recently partnered with Sullivan County to put a community recycling center on the main campus.  The College constructed an asphalt pad for the dumpsters at the gravel parking lot entrance at Aviation Drive at the northeast end of campus.  Miller said the county planned to construct a fence and install pole lights.

“Once those things are done, the county will deliver the dumpsters and the recycling center will be open for public use – probably sometime later this summer,” he said. “Most of our renovation projects should be complete by the time students return this fall.”

The Billies play Northeast State June 29

Northeast State welcomes funky groove duo The Billies on June 29 at 7 p.m. They will be performing in the Regional Center for the Performing Arts, located on the College’s main campus in Blountville, adjacent to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

The Billies duo Chrisie Santoni and Craig Smith play Northeast State June 29.

The Billies are lead vocalist Chrisie Santoni, who also plays guitar and keyboards, and Craig Smith on percussion and vocals. Based in Lancaster, Penn., The Billies have coined a unique style they call Low Country Groove. Their sound is a musical gumbo with hints of folk, Americana, country, pop, rock and a little dash of chill. Since 2006, the duo has played hundreds upon hundreds of shows in coffeehouses, wineries, farmers markets, restaurants, and college campuses.

The Billies are part of the College’s “Hot Nights, Cool Music” summer concert series. The series brings local, regional, and nationally known music acts to the College’s center stage.  The concert is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For information, visit The Billies on Facebook or contact 279.7669 or e-mail For a complete roster of the five remaining concerts in the “Hot Nights, Cool Music” series go to

CAMP COLLEGE students get the skinny on college life

Where is my financial aid check?!  Technology fee?  No one told me about a parking permit!  These issues can frustrate new college students more than the most comprehensive chemistry final.

Before a student sits down to his or her first composition class or biology lab, the business of college requires detailed attention.  Fifteen students experienced CAMP COLLEGE, an event sponsored by College Access Programs of Northeast State Community College last week to prepare them for every day college life as they pursue a degree. The three-day camp introduced students to responsibilities of college life.

“Our goal is to get the students more college ready,” said Megan Charles, coordinator of College Transition Programs at Northeast State. “We want them to get that community feel on campus and feel like they belong before they start school.”

CAMP COLLEGE participants work together to overcome challenges they may face during college.

Beyond the academic rigors, students face deadlines for financial aid, admissions, and class registration.    Campers met with admissions representatives, counselors, tutors, and business office personnel to learn the details of maintaining status as a student.  Campers also learned about the D2L online system, how to access MyNortheast online services, and got a tour of the main campus.

“CAMP COLLEGE saved me a lot of stress from taking an entire course about college life,” said camper Caleb Ray, who plans on entering the Chemical Process Operations program this fall.  “And it saved me a lot of money.”

CAMP COLLEGE students ranged from recent high school graduates to non-traditional students.  Fellow Camp participant Brandy Blevins plans on majoring in Dental Hygiene.

“I didn’t know you could get tutoring for classes and how much help was available here,” said Blevins. “You learn where to go to get help at the college when you need it.”

CAMP COLLEGE also gives participating students an hour of college credit while getting prepared for potential problems outside the classroom.  Students are required to participate in the College Access Programs to attend the camp.

Funding for CAMP COLLEGE is provided through two grants; the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) In-School Youth Grant supplied by the Alliance for Business and Training and the College Access Challenge Grant supplied by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Northeast State reps coach students through team building exercises.

Getting admitted to any college as a full-time student requires considerable work.  Admission to Northeast State requires an applicant to forward a transcript of their high school record or GED score, submit an immunization record, complete an application, and pass any learning support tests needed.  Participants had to be admitted as students to Northeast State to attend the camp and participants in College Access, WIA, or College Transitions programs.

Team building also put students together as they will be in shared-learning exchanges in almost all of their college courses.   Individual assignments engaged campers in writing exercises about issues important to them and how to apply it to life.

The final event divided students into three teams moving around the Quad sidewalk on a game board.  Each team rolled a die to move around the Quad frequently landing on squares to face challenges such as lost scholarships or missed academic deadlines.  Participants were judged on problems solving, teamwork, and adapting to challenges.

CAMP COLLEGE comes to the Kingsport Center for Higher Education June 25-27 and July 23-25 for GED students.  The camp returns to the main campus July 9-11 and July 18-20.  Charles noted college students juggled classes with part-time or full-time jobs, children, and other interests.  Learning to establish life priorities was critical to being a successful student, she said.

“COLLEGE CAMP also teaches how to be an ongoing student such as getting a scholarship and keeping it,” said Charles.  “They also learn how to manage their health and deal with stress that comes with being a college student.”

Any student interested in more information about CAMP COLLEGE can contact the College Access Programs office at 423.323.0223 or by emailing