Mar 31, 2016

TBR Approves Naming for Charles M. Sargent Building at Quarterly Meeting

Charles M. Sargent Building

Photo Caption: The new Charles M. Sargent Building on the new Williamson Campus.

(FRANKLIN, Tenn. - March 30, 2016) - - - Regents, board members and other guests were given a tour of the campus when Columbia State Community College hosted the Tennessee Board of Regents for its quarterly meeting at the new Williamson Campus Wednesday, March 30.

Before the meeting, Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, was given an opportunity to speak to the board about the new campus. She noted that the team worked together for the goal of producing a campus that would meet the needs of the students and is beautiful, functional and energy efficient.

"We wanted a campus that would call students to stay on campus," Smith said. "We believe very much that the design of a facility impacts learning and engagement."

Smith added that a lot of thought went into the design and different areas of campus to show off art, engage students, and give the students plenty of plug-in opportunities for technology. She noted the addition of multiple benches, nooks and chairs around the campus for students as well.

Dr. Ken Moore, Franklin mayor, said Columbia State is in the heart of one of the largest economic generators for the state of Tennessee. He commented that there is great job growth, as well as a 98 percent occupancy in Franklin.

"Last year, Williamson County was number one for job creation in the entire U.S.," Moore said. "To have a crown jewel, such as the new Columbia State campus, is quite appropriate for the future of our city and our county."

Moore noted that there are many opportunities for partnerships between the city, county and Columbia State.

"We embrace Columbia State. They help us grow and provide returns that only our imagination can know," Moore said.

A big moment came for Columbia State when the TBR unanimously approved the naming of the Arts and Humanities Building. Named for state representative and long-time college supporter, the building will now be named the Charles M. Sargent Building.

Sargent has been instrumental in the development of the building project and facilitated the expansion of higher education opportunities in Williamson and surrounding counties. He is referred to by faculty and staff as the "Champion for Columbia State."

"He's committed to education, and he has been committed to this project long before I was president," Smith said. "We needed land, and he was able to obtain funding to purchase the land. He has been steadfast, never once did he waver. We are most happy to name this building after him. Thank you for honoring him."

Sargent has served District 61 on the Tennessee House of Representatives since 1997.

The Williamson Campus Grand Opening event is June 22 at 10:30 a.m.

Group of people in a lobby
Photo Caption: The Tennessee Board of Regents members get an inside look at one of the seating areas inside the Student Services and Administration Building.

Group of people at Williamson Campus

Photo Caption: Tennessee Board of Regents members walking between buildings on their tour of the campus before the meeting.

Group of people in chemistry labPhoto Caption: The regents get a firsthand look at the chemistry lab inside the Science and Technology Building at the new Williamson Campus.

Charles Sargent and Dr. Janet Smith
Photo Caption:
Rep. Charles M. Sargent and Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president, at the new Williamson Campus groundbreaking in 2014. Photo credit: Sarah B. Gilliam.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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