Lexington Funds New Dental, Cosmetic and More Buildings

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — Dental hygiene, cosmetology students and others will soon find a new place to learn their skills in Lexington.

What you need to know

  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College breaks ground on a new multi-million dollar project
  • Students, staff and community leaders applaud new building
  • Among other things, the new building helps prevent challenges and provides more space for dental and cosmetic students

With the help of students like Madison Alexis Bailey, the shovel landed on the Newtown campus of Bluegrass Community College and Technical College on Tuesday morning.

At one point, she was studying business administration at a four-year school. Now studying cosmetology at BCTC, Bailey becomes emotional as she shares the experience of getting her to school.

“There aren’t many salons that service my hair,” says Bailey. “I have natural, curly, thick hair. My mom and I will have to drive to other places where we have to travel a long way.”

Currently a construction area with machines and mounds, it will soon house BCTC’s dental hygiene and cosmetic program as well as an assessment center.

BCTC President Dr. Koffi Akakpo started the program nearly three years ago to help students avoid commuting from multiple campuses.

The Bluegrass Vice President of Technology and Community College and Advancement and Organizational Development help welcome the speakers who sat on stage at the groundbreaking event. (Spectrum News 1/Sabriel Metcalf)

President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Paul Czarapata joined other BCTC staff, students, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton and board members at the event.

Councillor James Brown said the building provided a space for students to grow into the workforce.

“The access to health care opportunities and workforce opportunities or additional educational opportunities in this part of the city will be enormous,” Czarapata said. “Especially as we bounce back from the pandemic and move forward, these will be our Critical services that can benefit from it.”

Both Bailey and dental hygiene student Bryce Rivera shared inspiring words about BCTC’s academic endeavors in their lives. There are plenty of opportunities for Kentucky technical schools, Bailey said.

“We’re not going to face BCTC or JCTC or anything like that, they do more for less,” Bailey explained. “Like you get one-on-one, I don’t get one-on-one in the West. You are in a class with hundreds of people. Lord, I have a class of 30 girls.”

Eager for the changes on the Newtown campus, she said she was looking forward to what it might mean for her future.

“I want to open a store in Richmond, and I want to come back and teach,” she said. “I want to teach other parents, white parents, white families with different hair, kids with different textures of hair”

Teaching a new generation of Kentuckians to live out their dreams is what she’s looking for from BCTC.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place at a construction site near Newtown Pike, next to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Leaders praised the city for providing more than $2 million in funding for the new structure.

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