If the new Allied Health Nursing Building bond issue is passed by the TJC taxing district in a bond election in May, it would impact the campus in multiple ways.
Along with the change to the nursing and health science-related students, who will personally be taking classes within the building, students outside of the those programs will also be effected.
From new programs and altering locations of classes, to additional and modified parking, any TJC student is likely to feel the effect of the new building in some ways.
One of the primary concerns subtly being shared among students around campus is the parking, which is already considered a slight hassle to students and worsens due to the new building.
“Even though I’m excited about the new health building and everything it could offer,” said Thomas Boroughs, freshman, “I’m scared that it’s going to make parking even more of an issue than it already is.”
Fortunately, President Mike Metke was quick to explain that it should not have a negative effect on parking. He said that specific amount of the money allocated towards construction of the building will be used to expand parking.
“In reality we would like to do a parking structure, but it is terribly expensive to do those so we would probably have to scale that back and just include more surface parking, said Metke.
Essentially, although this building may not solve some of the current parking issues, all indications are that it will not further them either.
Besides parking, another change that the campus will experience is a shift in location of programs and classes. With the new nursing building able to house all health science related programs within its six-story frame, space in the buildings which currently house those programs would become available to be used in new ways.
The primary changes will be found in Pirtle Technology Center and spaced on the West Campus.
Dr. Metke noted that before new classes were moved into these buildings, they would have to be renovated.
“Those buildings will have to be re-purposed and renovated, which will probably cost around $8 to $10 million,” said. “But that would allow for those areas that were previously (used for) only medical (classes) to become say a physics lab or journalism lab, once we have modified and fixed it up.”
It is not yet certain which classes would occupy those buildings, and some programs already there (such as automotive) could remain in the building and simply be expanded.
The Project however, will not move forward unless the bond election is passed on May 12.
TJC is asking voters for approval to borrow $25 million to help pay for the project. Another $25 million to help pay for the project.
City of Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass, in a presentation made to the TJC board last month, explained, that the $25 million dollar investment on the bond will be returned in a little over two years, a relatively quick reimbursement.
The bond election is the last large hurdle TJC must clear before the college can begin construction on the project.