KIMBALL, Tenn. — The Marion County Regional Institute of Technical Excellence is set to open as a satellite campus for Chattanooga State Community College along U.S. Highway 41 this fall, and county leaders have dedicated the first building and entryway in honor of two men close to the project.
The Marion County Commission voted 13-2 last week to name the school's first building Howell Moss Hall in honor of the former county mayor.
The board voted unanimously to name the road leading into the facility Steve Hudson Drive in memory of the project's first construction manager.
Commissioner Tommy Thompson made the motion to dedicate the building and the road.
"We need to recognize Howell Moss," he said. "If it wasn't for Howell Moss, that school wouldn't be there."
Moss was Marion's mayor for 20 years, and officials said he was instrumental in the initial phases of the school's creation.
The board hired Hudson of SKH Construction Enterprises in Whitwell, Tenn., as the project's construction manager in 2010, but he died in December 2012 after a long illness.
Hudson also served as Whitwell's mayor for two years.
"He put in a lot of time, and he did a lot for Whitwell that he never got recognition for," Thompson said. "I don't think that he wanted it, but he was that type of guy."
Commissioner Wayne Willis, who voted against renaming the building, asked that the dedications be split into two motions because "I want to vote for one, but not the other."
County Attorney Billy Gouger said he doesn't think naming the building will be any problem for Chattanooga State.
"It wouldn't stop them from calling it whatever they wanted to call it," he said. "For the county's purposes, it will be Howell Moss Hall."
Renaming the road shouldn't be a problem either, he said, as long as the change is recorded with all of the proper authorities, like Marion's 911 system.
County Mayor John Graham said Moss Hall is almost complete, and the building should be turned over to the county by June 15.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.