Fill the college, not your coffer

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Trustees’ justification for a proposed bond issue is shaky at best.

At a March 7 meeting, the board of trustees had a conversation full of their typical half-facts and fueled by dreams.

When District 2 trustee Denver McClendon asked about the capacity of the colleges in the district, his fellow board members were incapable of answering the seemingly simple question.

McClendon said the public thinks the district doesn’t have enough enrollment to justify giving them $450 million to construct several new buildings.

He’s right.

Enrollment in the district is down yet the board still claims our current facilities are so packed full of students that we need to spend money on new ones.

Trustees proceeded to claim that even though they aren’t entirely sure what maximum capacities for the buildings are, they’re sure they must be getting pretty close.

District 9 trustee Jim Rindfuss claimed Northeast Lakeview College soon will reach maximum capacity.

Really, Mr. Rindfuss? We aren’t aware of an apparently massive increase in Lakeview’s enrollment.

When we walk the barren courtyard with that creepy clock staring down at us, we think of how shockingly empty the campus is.

Of course, there’s no way of knowing exactly how close we are to capacity.

The board is apparently unable to produce clear and accurate numbers for either the colleges’ current enrollments or their maximum capacities.

Maybe the board would have a more realistic grasp of the colleges’ enrollments if they were allowed to step foot on one of their campuses without having to clear it with the college first.

Here’s an idea: What if we based our $450 million decisions in facts, rather than whatever the board decides sounds good on any particular day?

Board: Provide accurate and honest numbers for enrollment and capacity before you ask us to give you money. Without facts to justify your bond, your promises are as empty as Lakeview’s parking lots.

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