What is the purpose of a community college?† I thought it was to provide a quality, low cost college education for students in the community.† I think that is how NCTC started, by providing a good low-cost education for Gainesville students.† It was expanded to Cooke County around 1960.
For the past ten years, I sometimes get the impression that NCTC wants to be more like a four year college.† In the last 10-12 years, NCTC has added four campuses.† Iíve heard part of the reason we need to upgrade the facilities is it is hard to recruit students from out of the area.† Could those be the students that are bumping local students from getting a slot in the nursing training?† Just over 1/3 of the students on the Gainesville Campus are from Cooke County.† How much will the families of non Cooke County students contribute to the bond payments?† I think the answer is zero.†
Somehow the NCTC administration has found a way to get those four other campuses built without our property taxes.† I take them at their word on that.† They say there is no way to provide quality facilities at the Gainesville Campus without a $32.5 million bond that will more than double NCTC taxes and will run for at least 25 years, based on college documents.† The Corinth campus which houses about 5500 students was built for less than $8 million around 1999 and no taxes.† It has about 78,000 square feet.† Iíve heard to reproduce it now might cost $20 million.† The current Gainesville campus has over 220,000 SF.† This bond program would build 100,000 new SF and renovate another 30,000 SF.† This Springís enrollment for the Gainesville Campus is 2256 students.† Why do we need 3-4 times the square feet for less than half the students?† Why are we spending so much money in Gainesville when most of the growth in student population is in Denton County?
NCTC has four sports teams.† When I asked about average attendance to their events Dr. Hadlock told me 10-20 people might attend.† Most of those athletes are recruited students on full scholarships, many from out of state or country.† When I asked Dr. Hadlock how many local student athletes participate, the best I ever heard was four athletes from our service area and maybe one student from Cooke County.† Iím not against sports but Iím not sure we need to spend $4,600,000 to improve our facilities to recruit athletes on full scholarships, so 10 or 20 fans can watch them.† If we are going to do sports, Iíd prefer we used local athletes recruited from teams in our local schools.† Maybe weíd have as many fans as local high school football games do.† We might even be able to save a few hundred thousand a year in scholarship money.
I agree we need to improve the health science buildings.† I think they can be fixed and remodeled for a lot less than $13 million.† We could also add some night and weekend classes if we are out of space.† I donít agree we need a new $13 million administration building at a cost of $278/SF.†
Does your vote really count?† Ask the last bond supporter who voted yes for the last Grayson County College bond.† It passed by a single vote.† For or against, I urge everyone to vote on May 14th in the NCTC bond election.
†Steve Gaylord, 2436 FM 2848, Valley View, TX 76272