Bowling Green Technical College Celebrates 70 Years of Academic Excellence
Bowling Green Technical College celebrated the 70th anniversary of the college on October 29th with ribbon cutting and open house ceremony. Several dignitaries had a chance to voice their praise of the college and what it has meant to the economic development of south central Kentucky for the last 70 years including; Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon, Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker, Foundation Chair Lowell Guthrie, Board Chair Mary-Garnett Richey, Chamber Chair Todd Davis and BGTC President Nathan Hodges.
Bowling Green Technical College was forged from the needs of America. Created to train Armed Forces personnel, the College has grown and evolved to be a leader in education and workforce training in south central Kentucky. This year College celebrates 70 years of providing quality education and training opportunities to business/industry and the citizens of south-central Kentucky.
The College was originally located on the Russellville Road near the present site of the University Center on the Western Kentucky University campus, and was named the Western Trade School. It was built in 1939 under the joint sponsorship of the National Youth Administration and Western Kentucky State Teacher's College. It operated as a N.Y.A. training facility, and was used to train industrial workers and Armed Services personnel for the duration of World War II. At the end of the war, the Federal Government released the facility to the State Department of Education, Bureau of Vocational Education and Western Teachers College to be operated as an area trade school. The first coordinator of the school was Mr. Charles V. Youmans. In the years that followed, the curriculum offerings were expanded and enrollment steadily increased.
The possibility of establishing the Glasgow School for Practical Nurses became a reality in 1956 when the Kentucky Board of Nursing granted developmental approval. Due to a nursing shortage the school was needed in the area.
In 1968, the school moved from the Western Kentucky University campus to its present location on Loop Drive, and the name was changed to the Bowling Green Area Vocational School. Land for the new location was acquired by the Civic Educational Foundation, an arm of the Bowling Green-Warren County Chamber of Commerce. Approximately $30,000 in contributions from business and industry in the area was used to buy the 15-acre tract, where the College is now located. A final expansion in 1982 brought the total available training space to approximately 177,000 square feet. It also represents a total complex cost of approximately $6,100,000 in buildings and over $3,500,000 in equipment and supplies. There were over 25 different training programs with approximately 800 students enrolled. The school served both high school and adult students. Evening, part-time and upgrade classes were offered to adult students.
In 1993 the Kentucky Advanced Technology Institute opened to offer training in Computer Repair and Automated Systems.
In July of 1997 the Kentucky Community and Technical College System was formed by House Bill 1 in the State Legislature. This bill brought together all the post-secondary technical schools and the former University of Kentucky Community Colleges into one system. The Bowling Green Regional Technology Center became the Bowling Green Technical College.
On August 25, 2006, Bowling Green Technical College celebrated the opening of the Transpark Center, a 31,500 sq. ft. facility offering Multi-skilled Maintenance, Tool amp; Die and Business and Industry Training. On June 12, 2006 the College broke ground for a new 68,000 square foot facility in Franklin Kentucky that opened its doors in September of 2008.
The Bowling Green Technical College now includes: the main campus on Loop Drive, the Kentucky Advanced Technology Institute Campus(both in Bowling Green), the Glasgow Campus (formerly known as the Glasgow School for Health Occupations), the Glasgow Technology Campus, the Transpark Center and the Franklin-Simpson Center.
Each year attendance has increased and new certificate, diploma, and degree offerings have been added to meet the educational demands of the community. Currently the College enrollment is over 5,000 students attending classes in the areas of administrative assistant, air conditioning technology, collision repair technology, automotive technology, computer aided drafting, culinary arts, diagnostic medical sonography, electrical technology, EMT, engineering technology, financial assistant, fire and rescue technology, general occupational amp; technical studies, industrial maintenance technology, information technology, machine tool technology, mechatronics technology, medicaid nurse aid, medical information technology, medication aide, nursing (practical nursing amp; associate degree in nursing), radiography, respiratory care technology, surgical technology, and welding technology.
Bowling Green Technical College has grown from a rich history in it s mission to offer quality training to prepare a well trained and competitive workforce for our area, states BGTC President Dr. Nathan Hodges. Thousands of lives have been impacted by the vision and dedication of faculty, staff and administration of the College throughout the past 70 years and we believe the years ahead offer the promise of greater things to come.