Walters State Community College Master Plan


Client: Tennessee Board of Regents

Location: Morristown, Tennessee

Status: Completed in 2021


  • Master Plan for Main Campus and three satellite campuses

  • Focus on adaptive reuse, given low enrollment growth and pandemic trends

  • Improvements to turn quad into true gathering space

  • Included demographic study looking at enrollment growth and job market sectors


Walters State Community College is located in East Tennessee. Its Main Campus dates from the 1960s and 70s and has a significant number of aging buildings and underutilized space. TSW worked closely with the college to determine the best uses for indoor and outdoor spaces, create a migration plan, and recommend a new Campus Hub in the existing library to serve as a one-stop shop and social hub. A new arrival plaza would provide outdoor gathering space and create a true front door for the Hub and the entire Campus. Students expressed a desire to be present on the physical campus despite social distancing, so improvements to the quad are proposed to allow students to take advantage of the mature trees and gather to socialize and study.

TSW worked through the COVID-19 pandemic to creatively engage students, faculty, and campus leadership to ensure that the Master Plan reflected the needs of all stakeholders and balance online learning with the benefits of the physical campus. A regional demographic analysis identified job sectors that would influence future enrollment and degree programs, and showed areas of the service area with demand for higher education.

A detailed space analysis showed underutilized areas and the need for additional spaces on all campuses. At the Sevier County campus, additional buildings are proposed to meet demand for enrollment. Athletic improvements in Sevier County and on the Main Campus would provide new fields as well as athlete and spectator spaces to serve the college’s successful athletic programs.