For two years, the Pocahontas and Beechgrove communities will have access to a free technology and community center, courtesy of Ben Lomand Connect and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The center, which was funded by a USDA grant and Ben Lomand, provides the community with two computers, which are connected to the internet, and a printer.
“This is a great for the community,” said Ben Lomand Board of Directors Vice President Roger Bynum.
He added that projects like this are the reason why Ben Lomand was formed – to serve people in rural communities. It will be in use for two years.
The project, which cost $1.8 million in total, paid for fiber to be installed in the area to connect the center, homes, and all of the equipment. It was paid for through the Community-Oriented Connectivity Grant, which funded $1.5 million of the project.
Gail and Kenneth Spry allowed Ben Lomand to use a portion of their family farm for the center.
USDA’s Tennessee Director for Rural Development Jim Tracy explained that broadband is the number on issues in rural communities and he is proud to be a part of expanding broadband to areas in Coffee County.
The center is monitored 24/7 by Ben Lomand security, does not allow smoking or tobacco products inside, disallows pets and has outdoor bathroom facilities.
The center is located at 2829 Gnat Hill Road. The hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.