The project is on the books for completion as part of the passage of a bond package for the college system. Classes at the new campus are expected to be underway next year, in the fall of 2017.
This week, however, parts of the project could be on hold due to the heavy thundershower activity in the area forecasted to last through the end of the week. Hosting a gathering last Wednesday at City Centre in Missouri City, the TriCity Business Alliance featured an update with HCC Board Member Neeta Sane, President of HCC Southwest College, Dr. Madeline Burillo; and Fort Bend County Precinct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage. Burillo, who was named to the top position in April, said the “campus is very special to us. Community college is about access to higher education and that’s what we do best.”
With easy access from U.S. 90A and Texas Parkway, Sane said the significance of the campus’ new site is due to the collaboration and partnerships, “solid partnerships with four entities, Fort Bend County, Missouri City, the George Foundation and HCC.” Courses to be offered at the Texas Parkway campus will include entrepreneurship, technology, and health sciences.
“We want Missouri City to become Eagle City,” said Burillo, explaining that the eagle is the college’s mascot.
She’s expecting the 69,000-square-foot building, an investment over $21.5 million, to be “turned over in April or May, weather permitting.” So, it won’t be this upcoming fall, but next year is right around the corner for the start of classes there.
Transferable college academic courses will also be offered at the new campus. Burillo said that “HCC’s tuition is about one third of what it costs to go to a four-year university,” an opportunity for students to take core classes at a community college and “come out without debt or much less debt then they would otherwise.”
She said HCC has strong partnerships with UH Sugar Land, UH Downtown, UT and Texas A&M, noting that the transferable classes represents a great deal for the community.
Just down the road in Stafford, an HCC’s bond project will allow the addition of a new workforce building to the existing campus, which construction is almost complete as reported on a website progress update. The new 57,424-square-foot facility will have a center for manufacturing with robotics and mechatronics, a lab and will offer design engineering and other courses as part of the center’s operation.
Representing Fort Bend County at the TriCity Business event, Commissioner Prestage highlighted the college campus change in location relative to the county purchasing HCC Sienna campus to house a library and other county operations. He also announced plans to approach HCC about land next to the Missouri City new campus site to develop a park.