The Tennessee Technology Center at Dickson is one of 27 technology centers across the state serving the citizens of Tennessee. This system of schools was made possible by legislation enacted by the 1963 General Assembly of Tennessee, Chapter 229 of House Bill 633.
Chapter 181, Senate Bill 746-House Bill 697, of the Public Act of 1983 transferred the governance of the state technical institutes and area vocational-technical schools from the State Board of Education to the Tennessee Board of Regents. The transfer became effective on July 1, 1983, and includes 46 institutions, being the sixth largest system of higher education in the nation. By action of the Tennessee Legislature, the school name changed in 1994 from Dickson State Area Vocational Technical School to Tennessee Technology Center at Dickson.
The Tennessee Board of Regents and the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee System are coordinated by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). THEC was created by the General Assembly in 1967 in order to achieve better coordination and unity in the programs of public higher education in Tennessee.
The school had its origin in February 1964, in a leased building in downtown Dickson. The first program was a cooperative effort between the state of Tennessee and Scovill-Schrader to train machine operators to manufacture tire valves.
During this time, construction was begun on the Highway 46 training facility. The school was constructed at a cost of $525,000, of which the Dickson County Court provided $130,000. In 1974, a drafting department was added at a cost of $83,254, and in 1977 the health occupations building was added at a cost of $102,000. In 1989, the heavy equipment/diesel mechanic building was added to the campus. From 1996 through 1999 renovations were made on the TTC at Dickson campus. Classroom/lab/shop areas were renovated and expanded. During the 1996-99 expansion, an additional 22,610 square feet were added and equipment updated for a total cost for Dickson and Clarksville of $3.5 million.
The Dickson facility houses 10 different programs plus administrative offices for the school’s main and satellite training facilities.
In January 1992 the Practical Nursing program in Clarksville began within facilities at Gateway Medical Center. Land donations of 15 acres in the Montgomery County Industrial Park, valued then at approximately $250,000 and cash donations of more than $225,000, were raised jointly through Advisory Council efforts. Additional contributions included air conditioning/heating units, wiring, building materials, training equipment, supplies and architectural funding.
In 1992, the Clarksville/Montgomery County Industrial Training Center was built by Clarksville industry/business and government for $300,000 and leased by Dickson State Area Vocational-Technical School. The building included 11,000 square feet. During the 1996-99 expansion, ownership was transferred to the Tennessee Board of Regents and a second building was added at a cost of $300,000 and 11,000 square feet. In 2005, 7.7 acres were deeded to the Tennessee Board of Regents by the Industrial Development Board of Montgomery County in anticipation of a projected 60,000-square-foot expansion. In 2007, the nursing program moved from Gateway Medical Center facilities to the extension campus in the Montgomery County Industrial Park. There are currently seven programs housed in this facility.
Commercial Truck Driving was established in July 1994 in Waverly and began operating out of the FASTRANS, Inc. location on Highway 70 west of downtown Waverly.
In the 1990s, the people of Humphreys County came together to create a facility to serve the higher education needs of their community. The result of that collaboration was the Humphreys County Center for Higher Education located on Holly Lane in Waverly.
In the fall of 1998, Business Systems Technology started at Waverly Central High School. In April 1999, when the HCCHE opened, Business Systems moved to the center and was joined by Industrial Maintenance.
In December 2003, the Commercial Truck Driving program was closed.
In December 2011, TTC Dickson closed the BST program in Waverly.
In October 2001, the Practical Nursing program started in the Williamson County Center through a grant. Classses were held at the Williamson County site of Columbia State Community College in Franklin. In September 2004, the nursing class moved to the Lion’s Club building in Fairview for one year. The Williamson County program moved into new facilities in Franklin in 2005.
Stimulus-Funded Additional Programs
In September 2009, with the assistance of federal economic stimulus funds, the Center opened an instructional service center in Ashland City and students were enrolled in Business Systems Technology. A Practical Nursing program opened in Ashland City in January 2010. The Business Systems Technology program closed at the location in 2011.
Through a joint venture with Williamson County Schools, TTC Dickson opened the Fairview Instructional Service Center within Fairview High School in 2009 and enrolled Automotive Technology students.
That joint venture ended in June 2012 and the Automotive Technology program closed.
James Clemmer was named superintendent on Feb. 1, 1965, and continued in the position through February 1972. Robert Ivy held the position through September 1976, when Bobby Sullivan was named director. Sullivan retired in June 2008 and Warner Taylor was named interim director. The Tennessee Board of Regents named Mark Powers as new director on Nov. 1, 2008.
The updated facilities and the instructional service centers help ensure the Tennessee Technology Center at Dickson is fulfilling its mission and meeting objectives. The Center has a 40-plus-year history of providing quality education and workforce development to the communities served.