College of the Mainland Trustees Call for $162.5 Million Bond Election
With students and their success as the focus, the College of the Mainland Board of Trustees on Monday, June 25 unanimously approved calling for a $162.5 million November bond election to expand the aging Texas City campus with plans for three new buildings.
The bond election, which was called following a recommendation from community members, calls for the construction of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)/Allied Health building, Industrial Careers building and a Student Success Center which will house all student enrollment offices such as admissions, financial aid and advising.
“We are confident that the communities which College of the Mainland serves is supportive of higher education and will approve this bond proposal,” said Kyle Dickson, chairman of the board of trustees. “We owe it to the parents and businesses of our great communities… but, most importantly, we owe it to the students to provide them with state-of-the-art facilities and relevant programs that will benefit them as they enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution.”
COM trustees approved calling for the bond election in a 6-0 vote following a presentation by community members Dawn King and Bill McGarvey. Trustee Rosalie Kettler was unable to attend Monday’s meeting due to a death in her family.
College of the Mainland, which has not passed a bond election since voters approved a $2.85 million bond package in December 1966 to help build the current campus, is at capacity and unable to offer any new programs.
“The college has done its due diligence in determining the utmost needs of the students and the communities were serve,” said Dr. Warren Nichols, president of College of the Mainland. “This bond proposal will enable College of the Mainland to provide a learning environment with updated and modern amenities.”
Community members from within the college’s taxing district of Dickinson, Hitchcock, La Marque, Santa Fe and Texas City have been meeting for months reviewing the college’s Academic Master Plan. The buildings proposed in the bond package respond directly to identified needs in the Academic Master Plan.
The Academic Master Plan itself evolved as a result of student and growing regional workforce demands. The college and its students are an economic engine for the booming region which has seen an expansion in the petrochemical industry as well as medical facilities and construction.
“Our college has been fiscally conservative for so long, but it’s been more than half a century and it’s time to make major improvements to our campus,” said trustee Don Gartman who heads the building and grounds subcommittee. “Our region is growing and the College of the Mainland needs to be an integral part of that growth when it comes to providing our students relevant learning facilities, as well as offering programs that are in high demand in the workforce.”
The proposed 160,000-square-foot STEAM/Allied Health building will allow for the necessary expansion of the college’s nursing program, which annually has a waiting list due to space limitations. New programs in surgical tech, imaging tech, dental hygienist, physical therapy assistant and communications also will be housed in the new building. The college also plans to add programs in four engineering disciplines – civil, chemical, electrical and mechanical.
Through this bond program, other programs currently offered in a leased building in League City will be relocated to the main campus. Those programs include pharmacy tech, nursing assistant, medical assistant and medical coding. The new building also will be able to expand and add cyber security networking labs, as well as labs for graphic arts, computer science, drafting and geology.
The college’s Process Technology program – the first of its kind in the country – will be able to expand in the new Industrial Careers building. Space in the 90,000-square-foot building will be allotted for the relocation of the Gulf Coast Safety Institute as well as the Occupational Hygiene and Safety Technician and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) programs. Instrumentation and electrical programs also will be included.
The planned Student Success Building will be constructed to replace the existing administration and enrollment center. This building will consolidate and streamline all student services like admissions, financial aid, student engagement, business office and dean of students. The 60,000-square-foot building also will house the college’s leadership team and a board meeting room. Off-site offices for marketing and public affairs and institutional advancement also will be located in the building.
The bond proposal also calls for additions and renovations to the campus fine arts building as well as expansion of the college’s physical plant and technology upgrades. Aside from the administration and enrollment center, the bond program will see the demolition of the police station (to be relocated) and the technical vocational building.
The college’s current tax rate is .208 per $100 valuation. If approved, the average home within the taxing district valued at $120,809 could see their taxes incrementally increase to $141.55 annually, or about $12 a month.
Aside from the original bond in December 1966 that included building the administration building, the Learning Resources Center (library), the Technical-Vocational building, the Math and Science building and a central utilities building, only one other bond package has been approved by voters and that was in May 1970. That $4.75 million bond package covered the cost of building the Fine Arts building, Physical Education complex and Student Center as well as expanding the Technical-Vocational and Math-Science buildings.
Since that time, a 20,000-square-foot expansion of the Technical-Vocational Building was completed in 1985; two Industrial Education Buildings were constructed in 1991 and a 10,000-square-foot Public Service Careers Building came along in 1999. None of these buildings were constructed using bond money.
College of the Mainland Bond Program Proposal
New STEAM/Allied Health Building
New Industrial Careers Building
New Student Success Building
Fine Arts Building and Theater Addition and Renovations
Demolition of Police Department, Technical Vocational Building and Administration & Enrollment Center
Physical Plant Expansion
Who Can Vote?
Registered voters living within Dickinson, Hitchcock, Santa Fe and Texas City school districts
Oct. 22 to Nov. 2
To learn more about the COM bond proposal, go to www.Compass2025.com.