The Alvin Community College board of regents called for an $88.5 million bond referendum at its meeting Feb. 18. The bond package—which will be on the May 7 ballot—includes plans for a campus on the west side of ACC’s taxing district, which includes portions of Pearland and Manvel.
In addition to the purchase of property and construction of a new campus, the bond would also fund a new technical programs building in Alvin. The remaining money would go toward various renovations and enhancements at the Alvin campus, including improving energy efficiency and accessibility, ACC President Christal Albrecht said.
The Long Range Facilities Planning Committee put together the bond package after several meetings.
“We are grateful to these committee participants who invested so much of their personal time to help us determine the best course of action regarding our facilities,” ACC board Chairman Pete Nash said. “Now, by calling this bond election, the board of regents is asking voters to tell us whether or not they want to invest in their local community college.”
According to ACC officials, an approved bond would result in an increase of approximately 6.99 cents per $100 of property tax valuation. For the average home value of $175,000 within the ACC district, the tax bump would be about $10.20 per month.
ACC is evaluating potential sites for a new campus in the general area of Hwy. 288 and Hwy. 6, Albrecht said. Subdivisions within ACC’s taxing district include Shadow Creek Ranch.
“If you look at the population of 15-34 year olds in that area of our taxing district, it is at least triple the [same age group] we have on the east side,” Albrecht said. “Population density alone is a huge factor.” [polldaddy poll=9350304]
The westside campus would begin with one building with general purpose classrooms and computer and biology labs. Officials estimate the first-year enrollment would be between 1,500-2,500 students.
It is uncertain whether the potential campus’ location will be identified before the election, Albrecht said. ACC’s capital improvement plans call for a 60,000-80,000 square-foot facility. However, Albrecht said the site’s acreage would depend on a variety of factors, including the need for detention and the campus’ architectural design.
Albrecht said the new facilities will not be possible if the bond fails.
“There isn’t a way for us to manage all of those things without having
a bond election,” she said. “In Texas, that’s the way that community colleges build buildings. We don’t get money from the state for that, so we have to go to the taxpayers and ask for them to help us.”