In front of several prominent community and business leaders at the weekly Athens Rotary Club meeting, Athens State University President Dr. Philip Way discussed a long-term plan for an innovative workforce center.
The center would be located where Carter Gymnasium is currently located. The $40 million building would include 85,000 square feet subdivided into a 30,000 square foot event center to host large conferences, concerts, and trade shows. The remaining portion will include multi-purpose space, innovative classrooms, and state-of-the-art training labs for students and industry employers. This building seeks to address the regional workforce needs, provide experiential learning classroom spaces, and much-needed community event space. 
Additionally, the center will help Athens State University enhance its identity as a workforce partner in north Alabama.
“As a graduate of Athens State University and someone who is concerned with the improved economic development of our downtown, I truly believe this would be a pivotal asset for our downtown and our community,” Athens Rotary Club President Tere Richardson said. “As Rotarians, I hope we can help assist in advancing this effort.” 
The next step for this project is to continue to garner local and statewide support.