UT MARTIN SOMERVILLE CENTER “SOMERVILLE’S SUCCESS STORY”
To date, the Town of Somerville has raised almost $2 million in public and private donations and commitments of the anticipated $2.5 million it will cost to renovate the Methodist Hospital building for the UT Martin Somerville Center. The donations are as follows:
July 2015: After years of losing money and after months of effort by the Fayette County and municipal governments of Fayette County to save the Emergency Room operated by Methodist Le Bonheur, Methodist closed for good in March 2015. After several months of negotiation with Somerville, Methodist Hospital donated the old Methodist Fayette building to the Town of Somerville. The replacement value of this building is estimated at over $11 million by the town’s insurance company for insurance purposes. In addition, Methodist Hospital also donated $250,000 in cash which has already been received by the town.
July 2015: The University of Tennessee Foundation started receiving donations and commitments from private individuals and businesses which to date totals at least $125,000. These donations have been made to the UT Foundation who will in turn deposit those donations directly into an account designated for the UT Martin Somerville Center as they are received. Some of them have already been received and deposited. Donations continue to roll in.
August 2015: A Resolution was unanimously approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Somerville to match the Methodist Hospital donation of $250,000 with $250,000 of town funds. These funds will come directly from the town’s reserves which have increased significantly over the last few years due to the cost saving efforts of the current Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
February 2016: A Resolution was unanimously approved by the Fayette County Board of Commissioners to support the UT Martin Somerville Center Project by matching the donations made by Methodist Hospital and Somerville with another $250,000. These funds will be paid to Somerville at a rate of $50,000 a year for the next five years starting in March 2017. The first payment has been budgeted in Fayette County’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget.
March 2016: The State of Tennessee amended their annual budget to include a direct appropriation of $875,000 to the UT Martin Somerville Center. These funds are considered a match to all of the local funds raised to that date. In addition, the State also placed a recurring annual appropriation of $250,000 in the budget bringing the total commitment by the State in Fiscal Year 2017 to $1,125,000. These funds are paid by the State on a monthly basis in twelve equal installments of $93,750 starting in July 2016 and ending in June 2017. Payments have already been made and have been deposited in the designated UT Martin Somerville Center account.
April 2016: The State approved their annual Budget with these appropriations included.
It is estimated that UT Martin will put almost $1 million of its own money into this project in the form of furniture, fixtures, equipment, signage, security, etc. In addition, UT Martin will be hiring professors from around the area to teach at this facility. They project that this center will be a hub for their other centers, providing teachers for a variety of classes. For information about classes being offered now at the Career Center on the Square or the fall 2017 schedule, call the UT Martin Somerville Center’s Director Kara Tapp at (901) 465-7313.