A $6 million Community Facilities direct loan to allow for construction of two new apartment style residence halls on the Greeneville campus of Tusculum College was announced on Thursday, January 3, by United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Tusculum College officials.
“Families in Northeast Tennessee should grow up with the same opportunities they would have living anywhere else,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby Goode. “The partnership between Rural Development and Tusculum College provides those educational opportunities and make it possible for our students to get the best education possible so they can out-compete others across the globe.”
The details of the loan agreement were announced at a document signing and announcement of the partnership between Tusculum College and USDA. The interest rate on the $6 million loan is fixed at 3.125 percent.
According to Tusculum President Nancy B. Moody, the low interest rate Community Facilities direct loan from USDA will make the new construction, set to begin in the next few weeks, a sound long-term financial investment for the college while meeting a priority need for Tusculum College.
“This has been a pressing need for the college for the past few years, as we have had to be creative with student housing and over 100 percent occupancy rates,” said Dr. Moody. “With record on-campus living numbers we have utilized every resource available to us, including increasing the occupancy in existing residence halls and utilizing off-campus housing. These new residence halls will provide additional on-campus housing to accommodate the many students who want to live on campus.”
The residence halls are expected to be ready for occupancy by August and will accommodate 120 students. Local architect John Fisher is the designer and Burleson Construction will be the general contractor on the project.
“As Tusculum College continues to grow, we will continue to seek partnerships like this one with USDA Rural Development to keep up with the demands of a vibrant and growing student population,” said Dr. Moody.
Tusculum College, the oldest college in Tennessee and the 28th oldest in the nation, is a liberal arts institution committed to utilizing the civic arts in developing educated citizens distinguished by academic excellence, public service and qualities of Judeo-Christian character. Approximately twenty-one hundred students are enrolled on the main campus in Greeneville and three off-site locations in East Tennessee. The academic programs for both traditional-aged students and working adults served through the Graduate and Professional Studies program are delivered using focused calendars whereby students enroll in one course at a time.
USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, infrastructure, community development, homeownership and affordable rental housing to improve the economic health and increase opportunities in rural communities. During the last four years the agency has assisted more than 1.5 million Tennessee families and businesses in 158 communities, investing more than $3.3 billion into local economies through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.
For more information on Rural Development programs available in Northeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Greeneville at 423-638-4771, ext. 4, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1490 or online at www.rurdev.usda.gov/tn.