Go back

APSU to remove Hemlock Semiconductor name

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University officials are moving forward with plans to remove the name from the University’s Hemlock Semiconductor Building. The decision comes several months after the company offered this option, along with offering its assistance in repurposing the building. The removal is scheduled for later this week.

The building was originally funded by the State of Tennessee to provide space to house APSU’s chemical engineering technology program. The building also provided additional classroom and office space for the growing campus.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University officials are moving forward with plans to remove the name from the University’s Hemlock Semiconductor Building. The decision comes several months after the company offered this option, along with offering its assistance in repurposing the building. The removal is scheduled for later this week.

The building was originally funded by the State of Tennessee to provide space to house APSU’s chemical engineering technology program. The building also provided additional classroom and office space for the growing campus.

“The associate degree in chemical engineering technology was a degree program just like any other where, once you completed your degree, it was up to the individual to pursue jobs in that field,” Bill Persinger, APSU executive director of public relations and marketing, said. “The program was developed to help fulfill a need for chemical engineers in the area. The degree opened the doors for graduates to pursue jobs in various industries, such as the oil and gas industry, fossil fuel plants, electric cooperatives, solar industries, etc.— companies that had chemical process needs, like Hemlock.”

Hemlock Semiconductor designed, built and installed the process lab, valued at approximately $2 million. At that time, it was the largest gift-in-kind in the University’s history. As a result, APSU named the building in honor of the company. Since the building opened, the majority of use has been for general core classes and office space. The process lab was the only part of the building specifically used for the chemical engineering technology program.

“There was a lot of confusion about the program over the years, and its affiliation with Hemlock,” Persinger said. “Many people thought the program was a direct path to work for Hemlock, despite our best efforts to convey that it was not. The name of the building only made this more confusing.

“It’s unfortunate that the plant never made it to production. However, Hemlock was still a great partner who fulfilled every commitment made to the University. They even went well beyond their commitment by offering to help us repurpose the building by helping us remove and sell the process lab equipment. We have now removed the equipment and have some buyers interested. This week we plan to remove the name and will display a new name once it is approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents.”

University officials are planning to convert the previous lab space into a location for the growing Engineering Technology Program with a concentration in Mechatronics. This will expand APSU’s offerings for that program to both the Clarksville and Fort Campbell campuses.