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WCC Board of Trustees needs to rethink new construction

Yesterday, I wrote about new construction and why it’s not a good idea – right now, or for the foreseeable future.

WCC has a lot of buildings that it doesn’t do a good job of taking care of. That’s not the fault of the Facilities group. Last year, the maintenance budget was $750,000. As the result of the pandemic, the Administration cut the maintenance budget this year by nearly half.

Cutting the maintenance budget is – in a single word – stupid. There is no better way to guarantee that you spend more money on building maintenance than by putting things off. And the maintenance backlog at WCC is huge. WCC has a maintenance backlog in the first place because the administration routinely fails to allocate enough money to maintenance.

So, under these circumstances, it’s really hard to understand why the Board has authorized new construction on campus. If you take the Administration at its word, (hey – that’s entirely up to you) the student population should be falling in 3…2…1 thanks to a sustained decline in the birth rate.

With fewer students on campus and excluding magical thinking, how does new construction make sense? Especially for a building with only nominal academic space. More space for fewer students? And they’re going to have a declining student population pay for this?

The Trustees need to re-evaluate the “Advanced Transportation Center” considering its minimal academic value. Remember, this is a building that – according to Rose Bellanca – WCC’s entire future hinges on. WCC allegedly needs this new construction to survive. How is a building with virtually no academic space The Future of a community college whose mission is to educate people?

Put a stop to the “Advanced Transportation Center.” WCC does not need the space or the debt.

Photo Credit: Richard , via Flickr