l-r: Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation Executive Director; Josh Roten, WCC Board of Trustees;
Hobie Davis, Ashe Campus Campaign Co-Chair; Katrina Miller, Ashe Campus Campaign Co-Chair; Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC President; Bailey Witherspoon, Ashe Campus student; Todd McNeill, Ashe County Commissioner Chair; Terry Bumgarner, WCC Board of Trustee President; Chris Robinson, WCC Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education (WDCE) and the Ashe Campus; and Arnold Lakey, WCC Foundation Board President.

Wilkes Community College held the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Ashe Campus Expansion on Thursday, August 8.

“Ashe County is proud to partner with Wilkes Community College for this exciting new expansion,” stated Todd McNeill, Chairman, Ashe County Board of Commissioners. “The added vocational programs and training opportunities for our local people will pay dividends for years to come!”

“The groundbreaking is really a historic event for Ashe County, allowing WCC to expand educational opportunities for our citizens for the next generation and beyond,” stated Chris Robinson, WCC Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Education (WDCE) and the Ashe Campus. “Education represents the greatest equalizer for the continuing growth of rural communities, ensuring that our citizens are job or university ready and allowing them to be competitive in an ever-increasingly global economy. I appreciate the trust that the WCC Board of Trustees, the Ashe County Board of Commissioners and, by extension, the people of Ashe County and our growing list of donors have given us through their support of this project. Most of all, however, I am humbled by the current and former students who have passed through our doors over the years, allowing us to be a small part of their individual successes. They are what this new facility is all about; students who entrust us to provide the skills and knowledge that will allow them to be successful in the future. This new addition reflects all that our students have accomplished and puts us in a position to better serve all of those still to come.”

The over 30,000-square-foot facility will expand opportunities for students in Ashe County and the service area to include criminal justice, Associate in Science degree, horticulture, and HVAC. The expansion will include additional classroom space, expanded computer labs, state-of-the-art technology which will include a healthcare simulation lab and much more. The Ashe Campus Expansion is projected to cost $12 million and construction is expected to be completed in 2021.

“The new facilities proposed for this site will enhance the continued growth of Ashe County and ensure a well-trained workforce far into the future,” stated Hobie Davis, Ashe Campus Campaign Committee Co-Chair. “Thank you to all the business and corporate donors, led by Blue Ridge Energies, Carolina West Wireless, SkyLine/SkyBest, LifeStore Bank and Skyline National Bank for their generous contributions early in the quiet phase of the campaign. Many individuals were also very generous in their giving, including the WCC faculty and staff who went above and beyond their goal with 288% giving at the outset of the campaign. To all those, we are very grateful. We are pleased to announce that the campaign is currently at $964,027 of the $1-million-plus fundraising campaign, which includes contributions from MerleFest 2018-2019.”

Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation executive director stated,“We are excited to kickoff the community campaign segment of the Ashe Campus campaign! Thank you to Hobie Davis and Katrina Miller for their leadership as campaign co-chairs and to the additional committee members consisting of Gary Brown, owner, Boondocks Brewing; Ellen Church, owner, Cline Church Nursery; Amy Dollar, VP, Ashe County Ford; Martin Little, VP, LifeStore Bank; Dan McMillan, retired Ashe County Manager; Josh Roten, owner, Appalachian Legacy Funeral Services; Kelly Vannoy, Chair, Ashe County Sharing Center; John Weaver, owner, Weaver Tree Farms; and Dr. Melinda Wonsick, physician at Mount Jefferson Family Medicine. I would also like to thank Bradley and Aletha Eller, owners, People’s Drug Store in West Jefferson and Kitty Honeycutt, Executive Director, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce for their support. Ashe Campus Campaign materials will be available at both locations.”

For more information or to make a donation, contact Allison Phillips at 336-868-6491, visit us at www.wilkescc.edu/giving, or send a check to Ashe Campus Campaign, PO BOX 504, Jefferson, N.C., 28640.

l-r: Hobie Davis, Ashe Campus Campaign Co-Chair, Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president, Doug Johnson, Blue Ridge Energy Executive Vice President and CEO; Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation Executive Director.