By Brandon Williams
HAVING REACHED capacity and unable to bring additional courses
to the school, College of the Mainland had its initial meeting this past
Tuesday, the first step toward a bond referendum this November.
The COMPASS (College of the Mainland Plan to Advance Student
Success) Bond Advisory Committee had nearly two dozen attendees
at the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce. A successful
bond election would be the first in a series of bonds every 3-5 years
that would allow the school to complete its vision toward extending
programming and facilities that are demanded by the steady growth in
student enrollment and the needs of area businesses and industries.
“We are doing all we can with what we have,” said COM Board
President Kyle Dickson.
Although COM is currently renovating the student center along with
adding a conference center, the growth in Galveston County — especially
in the northern part and Interstate 45 corridor — is coming at
a time where the school no longer has any space for additional programs
at the main campus in Texas City. With increased demand for
workers in the health and aerospace industries plus a rapidly expanding
need for experienced welders, COM is hoping the bond referendum
will allow them to take the initial moves to address those needs.
Phase one of the COMPASS plan would offer the following:
*A new, 80,000-square foot STEM/Health building.
*Re-roofing of the 30,000 square foot physical education dome
along with a reenovation of the 42,000 square foot physical education
*A 25,000 square foot reenovation of the math/science building.
*Multiple infrastructure projects for mechanical, electrical and
plumbing throughout campus.
*Improvement of drainage for multiple parking spaces.
*Multiple demolitions around campus.
COM’s lack of space has kept them from expanding their successful
nursing program, one that is unable to counter Galveston College’s
recent move to offering a four-year path to acquire a nursing degree.
The north campus in League City is not in the district’s taxing area
but students are charged a higher tuition that allows it to produce
revenue. Plans to add a dual credit building for high school students
located in the northern part of Galveston County are in the works yet
would likely be part of a fourth phase of the project.
Getting to that road will require a marriage of the Academic Master
Plan to the Facilities Master Plan. COM’s plans also coincide with
Texas City ISD’s intention for a successful bond referendum that
would focus on improving the schools in La Marque.
COMPASS’ committee will meet every other Tuesday until the regular
board of trustees calls for a bond on July 18.
By Brandon Williams