Northeast State closing campuses in Bristol and Gray

(PHOTO: T. Gray / WCYB)

BRISTOL - Northeast State Community College is closing campuses to balance the budget.

The northeast state campus is already closed in gray. Friday afternoon, the campus had a for sale sign out front. At one point, the space was shared with Tusculum college, based in Greeneville.

After fall semester ends, Northeast State will also close its campus on state street in Bristol. While Northeast State is leaving, other business inside the 620 State Street building will remain open. The Bristol campus will hold its last class in December, but the college will continue paying rent through mid-February.

With Northeast State shutting down its Bristol campus, some businesses on state street are expecting a decrease in customers. Others, however, are preparing for the possibility of a new business.

"We will feel it," Burger Bar owner Joe Deel said. "It's not going to hurt us to shut us down, but we will feel the impact of them leaving, due to the fact they're regular customers. Each week we counted on them as part of our downtown business."

The 620 state street building owner is also losing some revenue. Northeast State has been paying $22,987 per month for the space. The school has cut nearly $5 million to fix a major budget deficit.

"We've already went to be looking at other opportunities," Allen Hurley, the 620 State Street building owner, said. "We've had several meetings. We believe we'll have a new tenant of a sort in that property first quarter, no later than second quarter, we're hoping."

Business owners are looking forward to new tenants in the building.

"I thought that it could be a good opportunity for a lot better business downtown, because things are changing down here" Broad Street Lunch Counter owner Colin Thomas said.

"We look forward to anything else that will move in there," Deel said. "Seems like it's thriving downtown right now."