The tech school is planning to relocate from its current spot on Wilson Road, in the old armory, to the old Wal-Mart shopping center on Wilson Road.
In November, the college signed an option to purchase the entire shopping center.
The plans are to buy the center and convert it to a roomier college campus than the current location, which is becoming cramped, and which the school leases from the county.
The cost of renovating the facility is estimated at $8 million. College officials are hopeful that the upcoming penny sales tax referendum may garner $6 million of that total.
Piedmont Tech was also required to meet state requirements before proceeding with the work, which included approval by the State Budget and Control Board.
Yesterday, the college got its nod to move forward from the budget and control board.
The board’s approval allows the college to hire firms for engineering and other preliminary work at the facility.
The next big hurdle for the plans will be getting on the penny sales tax referendum, and November’s balloting.
County Council Chairman Henry “Buddy” Livingston, who is also the principal at the Newberry County Career Center, says the new campus could be one of the best stimuli for the county, by decreasing education and travel cost, bringing in new students and providing industry support.
The expanded space also allows the college room to grow in programs. Expanded offerings that Piedmont Tech is bringing to Newberry’s campus include vet tech animal classes, new education classes for future teachers and new medical and patient care classes.
The new campus will also have an industrial training lab to train workers for area industries.
Also, the plans call for workers to tear down the old Winn Dixie portion of the strip mall and using the area as a green space for the community.