Students at Cleveland State Community College will be learning in newly renovated classrooms and labs when the college reopens the doors of the Carl Hite Math and Science Building in August. The $2 million project renovated classrooms and labs for chemistry, physics, engineering, astronomy, and math. The newly renovated facility will also be home to the new Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation. 

The two-year project included information technology upgrades and new lighting as well as faculty office updates, more accessible restrooms, a remodeled entrance and new landscaping. The new state-of-the-art Vital Center will house the Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries (FWF) and agriculture programs.

“We are excited about these tremendous improvements and opening the new Vital Center. Thanks to the support of our state and the generosity of our friends, Cleveland State continues to offer outstanding, highly affordable educational opportunities to our neighbors here in southeast Tennessee,” said Dr. Andy White, Cleveland State President. 

The $2 million state investment was supplemented by a generous donation from Greg Vital for the new Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation, which includes a collaborative space for students in the program and a “dirty lab.” A centerpiece of the renovation project, the new center will open along with the renovated building at the start of fall semester. Vital is a Tennessee state representative, co-founder and president of Morning Pointe Senior Living and a buffalo farmer in east Tennessee. The community is invited to the grand opening of the Vital Center on Friday, September 13 at 10 a.m.

“The Vital Center will serve as a hub for all students pursuing degrees in Forestry, Wildlife, Fisheries and agriculture,” said Robert Brewer, Professor and Director of the Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation. “The new facility will give students a place to not only learn, but to develop connections that will last a lifetime. They will be immersed in their chosen field as soon as they enter the doors. It has been designed to help students become more engaged and successful during their time at Cleveland State.”

The renovation of the Carl Hite Math and Science Building is the fourth major facility investment at Cleveland State in recent years. In 2021, the college completed a $25 million revitalization project with the construction of a new Health and Science Center and comprehensive renovations to the Mary T. Barker Humanities Building. Also, that year, the state opened the new McMinn Higher Education Center in Athens, where Cleveland State Community College, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and the University of Tennessee Extension Institute of Agriculture all share space to serve area students. The facility expands postsecondary access for community members in some of the more rural parts of the region.   

“Local governments, supporting community members, and the Cleveland State Foundation have all made significant, complementary investments to enable each of these strategic projects. As a result, the college offers students state-of-the-art facilities and technology to support learning and student success,” said White.  Cleveland State offers a wide variety of degrees and technical certificates in areas such as nursing, business, mechatronics, emergency medical technician (EMT), early childhood education, chemical engineering technology and more. Registration for fall term is open; for more information, email or (423) 473-2310.