CUMBERLAND COUNTY – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture celebrated its new Crossville Forestry work center with a ground breaking ceremony Monday.

The work center, located at 2670 Highway 127S, consolidates three current Forestry offices into one. The state says the move will save money, improve workflow efficiency and provide Forestry personnel a location to store and maintain wildland firefighting equipment.

“This will give our employees a better place to work and a more visible facility for those in the local area,” said Jai Templeton, Tennessee Department of Agriculture commissioner.

An area forester will be based at the new work center to assist landowners with property stewardship. The building will also include a call center for burn permit requests and space to host outreach and educational events for the community.

The project represents a more than $1.2 million investment. The new office should be open before the end of the year.

“We’re excited about this,” Templeton said. “It’s going to be a tremendous asset – not only to Cumberland County, but to this district and region as well.