Big plans set for Houston Community College HCC – Southwest Campus
By Karen Daniels
Last year citizens approved a $425M bond to expand and update the Houston Community College System. The HCC Southwest Campus is one of the largest of it’s nine districts, and Board Chair of Trustees, Neeta Sane, took a moment to sit down and explain how the money assigned to District VII, will be spent. Trustee Sane is beginning her second term (terms are 6 years) as a trustee and was sworn-in as Chair on January 23, 2014.. Her district campuses include Stafford, Missouri City, Gulfton, and the West Loop.
The campus located in Stafford will receive $27M of the bond money and the Missouri City campus will receive $21.5M with an additional $1.5M for an athletic field (not part of the bond). The Stafford Campus has plans to construct a new Work Force building. For the first time, HCC will have a school that is solely dedicated to teaching, and in some cases, certifying students for the industrial sector.
Programs include electrical, plumbing, manufacturing, and technology. Trustee Sane said, “There is a need. We want to prepare the workforce that is already here. HCC is number one in producing work force ready graduates in Houston.” This is a perfect fit for the City of Stafford. Ground breaking for the new building is expected to begin in Fall 2014, and as part of bond project policy, construction must be 80% complete within three years from the bond issue date.
When it comes to the future of the Houston Community College Southwest Campus, Trustee Sane used one word repeatedly: Partnerships. She is looking to form partnerships in both the private and public sectors. Joint projects with Stafford MSD; with Stafford and Fort Bend business communities; as well as government entities. In regards to SMSD, she would like to continue the dialogue so that high school seniors can earn dual credits.
A future partnership between the University of Houston and HCC to offer bachelor degrees, catering to individuals of all ages, is also on her short list. Additionally, HCC professors have taught courses at corporate offices, providing flexibility for their workers as they receive the instruction or certification needed. Trustee Sane would like to see this continue to grow. And lastly, there are 50 acres of land that she is “interested in future land partnerships” that would benefit both business and education. HCC’s mission is to provide life long learning at affordable prices.
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