As a part of the agreement with Volkswagen, the State of Tennessee funded the $40 million dollar investment for the new Volkswagen Academy. The Academy sits on top of a hill, looking down at the actual plant, and is connected via an enclosed pedestrian bridge. The parking area at the Academy also serves as the main parking lot for the factory.
The Academy was designed to be a state-of-the-art training center for preparing workers for their jobs at the new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Academy is operated in conjunction with Chattanooga State Technical Community College with the support of other local universities and educational facilities. Most of the Academy is surrounded by windows, allowing natural lighting throughout the structure, and included the use of daylight sensors to maintain appropriate lighting levels.
Volkswagen Academy is approximately 153,000 SF, which includes a lean manufacturing center, a manufacturing and automation center for basic and advanced training, and an automotive training area. The training simulates all aspects of the manufacturing process, but on a smaller scale to allow for hands-on training. The facility includes 19 classrooms, a cafeteria, a gift shop, a coffee shop, and a conference center.
The conference center houses a large, open auditorium area that can be viewed from not only the first floor, but also the office area above. This area has movable partitions to allow for individual conference rooms to be created. The conference center also includes a board room with adjacent meeting rooms.
The Academy achieved LEED® Platinum certification.