Proposed bond not enough

An initially proposed bond of $289 million for the college was slashed to $157 million in order to reach more votes for the upcoming November election. The bond will be used for renovations on East and West campuses and about $1.8 million will be used to continue the efforts of creating a Southside location.

This readjusting of funds put many plans on hold. While plans for the Southside location will continue, the project is at a standstill until the next bond election.

The renovations that will be made to each campus have been set in broad terms. If the bond passes in the upcoming election a more detailed plan will be set and made available for the public.

In a previous interview, Dr. Mark Escamilla, president of Del Mar College, explained that some buildings may not make the cut because of the current state they’re in. Memorial Classroom and Heritage Hall, two of the first structures on East Campus, both require heavy maintenance and renovations, expenses that Escamilla won’t have available with this bond. Memorial Classroom will be preserved but the fate of Heritage Hall is still unknown.

“As far as Heritage goes, that place is crumbling,” Escamilla said. “It would be entirely too expensive to renovate. How could I justify spending 8, 9, 10 million dollars on renovating something that may or may not withstand those renovations?”

The board divided the expenses into projects they felt were necessary during a Board of Regents meeting in July. The monthly meetings are open to the public to attend and provide commentary. Not one person from the community was present at this important meeting.

The projects proposed in this bond are beneficial to the college and the Corpus Christi community as a whole. The 2014 Capital Improvement Program Fact Sheet provides a more clear understanding of the proposed bond in a “Q&A” format. Everything is phrased in broad terms making the bond appear more desirable.

One not so desirable aspect? The facilities receiving upgrades and renovations could be ready by the 2018-19 academic year. They wont be ready, they could be ready.

Cutting the bond was a good move on the behalf of the board. The school needs money, obviously, to carry out operations in an efficient manner.

By cutting the bond nearly in half they’ve diluted the original plan to fit within the confines of what our community will allow us to do. The bond proposal was trimmed in order to ensure more votes and approval from the community. While the board agreed unanimously to cut the bond proposal, community members and students had no say in the matter. Those who will be affected by these potential changes have not made themselves available to voice their concern. More so, they haven’t wanted to make themselves available. Due to a lack of interest and a lackadaisical attitude towards changes being made to the city and surrounding facilities, Corpus Christi has screwed itself out of opportunities for progress.

Why are we still occupying classrooms that are not beneficial to our safety or well-being? We understand making the cuts to better suit voters and their distaste of a tax increase but why water down what you’re passionate about?

The problem with these proposals and elections is the insane amount of uninformed voters.

These changes and renovations they’re proposing affect us students, not just those providing tax dollars for the changes to go into effect. If we aren’t making our voices available to the board, they’ll continue to make changes that they believe are beneficial to us.

Where are all the voices of those demanding that a parking garage is necessary on East Campus? It’s during these Board of Regents Meetings that you can make these desires known.

Overall the proposed bond covers a good chunk of what Del Mar College needs to move forward, it’s just not enough.

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