l-r: Drs. Thomas P. Wilson, Timothy Gaudin, Henry Spratt and Joey
Shaw of the UTC Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences discuss
a map of the former Volunteer Army Ammunitions Plant site.
Nearly 200 acres of property at Enterprise South (the former Volunteer Army Ammunitions Plant (VAAP) was formally gifted to The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from the U.S. Department of Education.
The dedication ceremony celebrating the deed transfer was held on the site of the UTC field classroom and attended by Mary Hughes, Director of the Federal Real Property Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Education, along with representatives from Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments, the University, and the business community.
“This is a win-win for the community as well as the federal government,” Hughes said. “The transfer was made at no expense to taxpayers, and comes with a significant public benefit, as well.” Hughes said the property would be put to good use for education purposes and economic development. She added that another parcel on the property was being discussed as an additional acquisition for the University.
The most significant aspect of the gift is the size. UTC’s current downtown campus covers just less than 120 acres. This new property at Enterprise South provides space that in the future could almost double the size of the current campus.
UTC Chancellor Roger Brown welcomes Mary Hughes.
“We are tremendously appreciative for this vote of confidence from the federal government,” said Dr. Roger Brown, UTC Chancellor. “When you consider all of the opportunities that become possible with a site of this magnitude, the prospects are almost unlimited. Just as our business and government leaders look to this Enterprise South property as the catalyst for economic sustainability in our community, students and faculty members from our biology department are looking to ensure that the land continues to sustain the wildlife that is already here. This represents a perfect of marriage of academic pursuit and economic development.”
University biologists have already begun to explore the wildlife and plant life on the site, allowing students to conduct research in the field. Much of the land is a pine plantation with some hardwoods. A wetland, owned by Hamilton County schools, has become a hotspot for biological research. More than 100 students are expected to study and perform biological research in the field at the Enterprise South site during the fall and spring semesters.
Mary Hughes discusses the new UTC acquisition with Chancellor Roger
Brown looking on.