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 and has a main campus that dates back to the 1960s and 70s. The college has a significant number of aging buildings and underutilized space. TSW was brought on to work 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. The Campus Hub is intended to serve as a one-stop shop and social hub for students, faculty and staff. In addition, TSW proposed a new arrival plaza that would provide outdoor gathering space and create a true front door for the Hub and the entire Campus.

The college’s students expressed a desire to be present on the physical campus despite social distancing, so TSW proposed improvements to the quad area 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 balanced online learning with the benefits of the physical campus.

A regional demographic analysis was conducted to identify job sectors that would influence future enrollment and degree programs, and to identify 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.

The Walters State Community College Master Plan, proposed by TSW, will help the college in modernizing its facilities, making the campus more inviting and accessible, and ensuring that the college’s facilities align with its mission and goals while also meeting the needs of its students and community.