Motlow Smyrna Campus Building 3 Grand Opening and 50 Year Celebration


Tennessee Ledger staff — Dec. 18, 2019

(SMYRNA) – Motlow Community College celebrated the grand opening of their third building at the Smyrna Motlow College Campus and their 50-year as a college December 17. The new three-story building is 82,000 square feet. The state-of-the-art complex was constructed at a cost of roughly $27.3 million.


New 82,000 sq. ft. Building brings Opportunity to Rutherford County

  • Thirty-two new classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including seven new labs and plenty of space for the nearly new medical laboratory technology program.

  • Fifty or more new faculty offices. A “one-stop” student success, admissions, business, and financial aid center.

  • An On-Campus, indoor food vending.

  • New Student Lounges with scenic views of the entire campus and beyond.

  • A new large rotunda.  

  • Areas for students to Study and Meet w/ small groups.

In 2013, Motlow completed its second building addition with the two-story MaryLou Apple Building. Motlow has been growing rapidly with Smyrna’s student headcount was 1,957 and has grown by 59 percent.

The Smyrna Motlow campus is expected to enroll over 3,000 students.

State, Town and County Leaders Celebrate Grand Opening

Front Row; Smyrna Clerk Brittany Stevens, Rutherford County Commissioner Robert Stevens,Smyrna Councilman Marc Adkins.Mayor Mary Esther Reed, Chancellor Flora W. Tydings, Sen.Shane Reeves, Sen.Dawn White, Rep.Tim Rudd, Motlow President Michael Torrence, Rep. Mike Sparks, Motlow Student, Rep. Charlie Baum, Rutherford County Commissioner Rhonda Allen.


Local leaders, state officials, business and academic leaders are excited for both the students and faculty with the arrival of the much needed additional 82,000 square feet.

Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed speaks of the partnership with the Motlow College, State of Tennessee, Rutherford County and the Town of Smyrna.
Motlow Students and Staff excited to tour visitors.
Chancellor Flora W. Tydings speaks to the crowd of over 300 Motlow staff, supporters and students.
Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron discusses our community’s rapid growth with Sen. Shane Reeves and Rep. Charlie Baum.

Notable Quotes:

“This new building will provide many opportunities for our Students at Motlow- Smyrna. It took a couple of years to get it funded and a couple of years to build it. But the benefits will last for decades to help give our students hope of getting a great job and making them productive citizens,” said, Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron.

“I’m just thrilled to see the new building. Motlow State has been busting at the seams. The new much larger library has been needed for many years,” said Librarian Page Hendrickson.

“I have had both the personal and professional pleasure of being associated with Motlow State, Smyrna, since 2005 when our campus was at the
Tennessee Air National Guard facilities in Smyrna. Less than 200 students meeting in a handful of courses in several classrooms on the second floor.
We have indeed come a long, long way to becoming one of the finest community colleges, not only in Tennessee, but throughout this nation. We are
most proud of our rich past…and very confident of our bright future,” said, Dr. William H. Kraus, Adjunct Faculty, Political Science

“While we gather to mark the completion of this important construction project, the real celebration centers on the capacity we are building to do great things together.” — Dr. Michael Torrence, Motlow president

“This is an incredible day for not only Motlow College, but for our entire middle Tennessee region. This new facility will help to develop and teach our future workforce,” said, Senator Shane Reeves.

“I’m excited for the opportunity for our students. Motlow building 3 will further enhance our student’s education and improve our community,” said, Rep. Charlie Baum.



The state of Tennessee is fortunate to have many supporters involved in this project including the town of Smyrna, as well as the Rutherford County Commission and the Industrial Development Board, both of which have made multi-year funding pledges. Additional contributors include the city of LaVergne, the John D. Floyd Foundation, The Clayton Family Foundation, Motlow College Foundation, and countless businesses and individuals from the Rutherford County area and surrounding communities.

The new building is yet another milestone for Motlow, one of the fastest-growing colleges in the nation that has seen double-digit percentage increases in Smyrna enrollment since 2015. The project triples classroom space and parking space on the campus.

“The opening of Smyrna Building 3 means that more students will be able to attend a high-quality community college while having access to free tuition through the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs.,” said Dr. Greg Killough, Motlow Smyrna academic dean.

“The increased number of graduates we will produce means that our local industry will have the workers needed to produce more products and services. This productivity will fuel a stronger local economy that leads to more financially stable families. What others may see as new brick-and-mortar is a gateway to a better quality of life for scores of Tennessee households.”

Smyrna Building 3 will house 32 classrooms equipped with the latest technology and seven labs, over 50 faculty and staff offices, the campus library and bookstore, a one-stop center for student services such as admissions and financial aid, student lounges, and a multi-purpose area capable of seating up to 300.

According the The Murfreesboro Post (“This is our second building (at Motlow State-Smyrna),” said Chris Steigerwald, senior project executive at Messer Construction, which is putting up the newest structure with plans provided by the architects at TM Partners. “We did Building Two (now the Apple Building), and I remember Dr. Apple saying, when we completed it, that we were already in need of more space.”


Tennessee Reconnect: The Reconnect is an initiative to help more  adults and non-traditional students return to higher education to gain new skills, advance in the workplace, and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential. For more information regarding Tennessee Reconnect visit

Tennessee Promise: Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college in our state. It provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or the Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate degree program.

 In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete and submit eight (8) hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their respective institution.

The Motlow Smyrna Campus Building 3 is located at 5002 Motlow College Boulevard (Just past the North Rutherford YMCA), Smyrna, TN 37167 and can be contacted at 615-220-7800.

Motlow supporters and community volunteers Dr. Bill and Trish Nash.

Talk of naming the new building after the late Smyrna Mayor Bob Spivey?

The name Bob Spivey has been synonymous with Motlow College.

The late Smyrna Mayor speaks at the second building ground breaking in 2011.

The late Smyrna Mayor Bob Spivey was the main driver  to bring Motlow State Community College to Smyrna. “If it were up to me, I’d name it for Bob Spivey, who was the Smyrna mayor when we got this campus,” said Elizabeth Fitch, former Dean of Motlow College.

Elizabeth Fitch, professor of biology speaks on WGNS Smyrna Issues radio show advocating for the third building in 2017.

“It seems like yesterday that Mayor Spivey was telling me, “Mike, I’m going to bring this college to Smyrna. The children of Smyrna, La Vergne and Rutherford County need educational opportunities,”” said Rep. Mike Sparks of Smyrna.

Pictured are: Smyrna Mayor Bob Spivey, Motlow asst. Director of Student Services Gary Winton and Rep. Mike Sparks at the second Motlow ground breaking in 2011.





WGNS “Smyrna Issues” Radio Show Advocates for Motlow Expansion

Smyrna Issues radio show with WGNS host Bryan Barrett and Rep. Mike Sparks host guests Greg Upham, Storm Water Coordinator with the Town of Smyrna and Motlow adjunct professor of geology, Jerome Dempsey w/ Dempsey, Dilling & Associates and the late Mayor Bob Spivey discuss Smyrna’s growth and the need for Motlow College.




Smyrna, La Vergne and Murfreesboro See Record-Breaking Investment from State of Tennessee

The new building adds to the record-breaking investment that Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro and Rutherford County has seen the past few years. The recently constructed new Smyrna/Nissan TCAT, Tennessee College of Applied Technology located across from the  Nissan Manufacturing facility boast  162,000 square feet.The new TCAT is the largest capital investment of any state project (other than Nissan Manufacturing Plant itself) to the Town of Smyrna. The TCAT Center was over $40 million.

The new Smyrna/Nissan Tennessee College of Applied Technology boast 162,000 square feet at an investment by the state of Tennessee at $40 million.

The largest capital investment ever in the state of Tennessee is the new MTSU Science Building at $147 million.

The new Science Building changes the game at Middle Tennessee State University for research and learning.


The new, state-of-the-art, $147-million MTSU Science Building opened in the fall of 2014. The faculty boast more than 250,000 square feet for teaching, faculty and student laboratory research, and collaborative learning, the new building is the biggest improvement ever for science education and research at MTSU and for the more than 13,000 students who enroll annually in biology, chemistry, and other science courses.

Due to the rapid growth of Rutherford County, the community has seen record-breaking investment in road infrastructure and education.

Smyrna has a total of $25 million in road projects under way.  Below are a list of current projects are:

1)      Nolan Drive $2.7 million (Town funded)

2)      Weakly Lane/ Swan Dr. $1.1 million (Town and TDOT funded)

3)      Sam Ridley widening $11 million (Town and TDOT and Federal funded)

4)       Enon Springs to I-24 $10 million (Town funded)

Both Smyrna and the Tennessee General Assembly delegation including Rep. Charlie Baum, Rep.Tim Rudd, SEn. Dawn White and Rep. Mike Sparks are working to try to gain approval for a new much-needed interchange at I-24 and Rocky Fork Road.

“The potential Rocky Ford Road and I-24 interchange was the last issue that the late Mayor Bob Spivey asked me to work on. I gave him my word that I would make it a top priority. The interchange is greatly needed and would help alleviate traffic on both Sam Ridley and Almaville roads, said Rep. Mike Sparks of Smyrna.

This 2019 Tennessee legislative session announced the $52 million in funding for the much needed widening Jefferson Pike in Smyrna (SR 266). The environmental studies and right of way acquisition on Jefferson Pike have been completed. The Jefferson Pike widening should start June 2020. 

With the growth of Rutherford County, the investment in both education and  infrastructure is greatly needed.