Officials with two local community colleges believe plans to combine forces will strengthen both of their missions.   State lawmakers approved a bill, which now awaits Governor Tomblin’s signature, to combine Bridgemont Community and Technical College in Montgomery with Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College in South Charleston.

“This is a model that should have been a place a long time ago,” said Joseph Badgley, retiring president of KVCTC. “This is a good time to do it to since I’m retiring and it will make the transition much easier.”

The two schools will combine their administrations, but will maintain both campuses and all course offerings.    It will double the offerings students have available at both schools.    Bridgemont has worked to maintain an academic lineup of engineering discipline while WVCTC has a larger health-care field curriculum.

“We have worked hand in hand over the past several years trying not to duplicate programs,” said Bridgemont President Jo Harris. “Now under one administrative structure, we’ll have a very broad range of healthcare and technology programming.”

Once in place, Governor Tomblin will appoint members of the new school’s Board of Governors which will be drawn from the existing BOG of both schools.  

Harris and Badgely says the structure is efficient and will streamline services.  It’s also not unprecedented as several technical schools in the state have satellite campus locations and have proven the formula works.

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