District officials claim they spend money on upgrades and remodels across the Alamo Colleges for the benefit of the students. However, are they being smart with our money?
More than two years ago the district bought the land formerly home to Playland Park, however, it still stands empty. At this college, hallways lead nowhere and remodeled buildings are not staffed.
The bookstore in Loftin Student Center could once be accessed from the south side of the building as well as the current north entrance. Now a hallway leads from a first floor exterior entrance to the basement that has been untouched for years, resulting in paint peeling off the walls.
Access to San Pedro Avenue from West Dewey Street was closed during a campus overhaul years ago. The recently retired president once anticipated a small amphitheater there. Instead, cargo containers, one for each department, filled with old office furniture files, and other campus materials were stacked. The containers were slowly removed but seem to be returning.
Instead of discarded furniture and equipment being auctioned off as in the past, it is now just trashed. So much for the Alamo Colleges being green.
The updated library in Moody has many rooms for students to study alone or in groups but not the budget to support the necessary staff.
We keep expanding facilities but not the faculty to make them useful.
Over the summer, the electricity gets turned off for cost savings. Custodial workers are forgotten, forced to work in the heat, and historic materials rot without proper climate control.
Like the state of Texas, the Alamo Colleges excel in dubious categories. We can boast one of the highest paid administrations in Texas while employees, who hold sway on the nation’s future, live paycheck to paycheck.
The college made a deal with Tobin Hill to give away student parking in a private-public partnership.
Now that the project is almost complete, the district is preparing to pay $88,000 annually in rent for a welcome center — in a building built on college land — and $16,000 annually for use of a black box theater promised in the original design.
Meanwhile, none of these expenditures really do much for students.