Wake Tech Seeks Funding To Handle Enrollment Growth
$200 Million Request Will Fund Expansion and Essential Repairs
RALEIGH, N.C. (August 10, 2012) - Wake Technical Community College, the state’s largest community college, is asking voters to approve $200 million in bonds to fund new building projects over the next five years. Wake County Commissioners unanimously agreed to place the bond referendum on the November ballot. Wake Tech’s enrollment has increased more than 55% over the past five years, and is expected to increase another 50% over the next five years. Every semester, more than 6,000 students are on waiting lists for classes that are full.
“The huge increase in Wake Tech’s student enrollment is a direct reflection of the population growth in Wake County, as well as the high unemployment rate,” says Dr. Scott. “This bond will enable us to meet the growing need for education and workforce training in our community, while helping to create jobs.”
The bond funds would enable Wake Tech to construct three new buildings at the Northern Wake Campus, start construction at the new RTP Campus in Morrisville, expand the Public Safety Education Campus, and make repairs and renovations at the Main Campus. The new facilities would allow Wake Tech to serve an additional 24,000 students.
Jim Captain and John Atkins, Chairman and CEO of O’Brien/Atkins Associates, are co-chairing the Wake Tech Bond Campaign Committee. Wake Tech’s building plan totals $210.2 million dollars. If voters approve the bond referendum, Wake County would fund the remaining $10.2 million with existing cash flow. The bond would NOT result in a tax increase.
Wake County’s population is growing by 20,000 new residents each year. Wake Tech serves approximately 1 in every 8 Wake County adults. The projects to be completed with bond funds are expected to generate as many as 2,000 jobs in the construction industry.
Previous bond referenda for Wake Tech were overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004 and 2007. Those bond funds enabled Wake Tech to start construction on the Northern Wake Campus, which opened in the fall of 2007. So far, four of the 10 planned classroom buildings on that 127-acre site are built. The college has purchased 94 acres near I-40 and 540 for its RTP Campus, to better serve the needs of students and businesses in the western part of the county.