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Bonds Passage Will Help VGCC Prepare for Growing Enrollment

Vance-Granville Community College has experienced rapid enrollment increases in recent years, and school officials predict the numbers will continue to climb in the future.

Over the course of 1999-2000 school year at VGCC, more than 4,700 students were enrolled in programs to earn a degree or diploma. In addition, about 3,300 attend classes at the college to earn their high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. Extension programs at the school serve another 9,100 people in a year.

In the year that ended this summer, Vance-Granville served 17,238 students. Subtracting the duplication in students who took classes in overlapping areas, there were 16,620 individuals who attended the college, or about one in every six eligible adults in Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin counties.

Looking at the rate of growth since 1985, when VGCC had an unduplicated head count of 7,771 students, President Robert A. Miller said it is reasonable to expect Vance-Granville’s student population to top 20,000 by the year 2005.

This high demand for training and education puts tremendous pressure on the college to provide the facilities needed to accommodate these students, Miller said.

Classroom and laboratory space are in short supply, despite recent additions at Main, South and Franklin County campuses, he added. Rooms normally reserved for seminars and conferences are being used for classes, and groups from the community who would be using these rooms are being turned away. And parking remains at a premium at all four of VGCC’s campuses.

“The General Assembly’s decision to put to the voters a bond issue – the Higher Education Facilities Bonds – that would benefit the 16 universities and 59 community colleges across the state has come at the right time,” Miller said.

Voters will consider a $3.1 billion bond issue on the Nov. 7 ballot, and VGCC would receive $17,070,446 from that total for new construction and repairs and renovations.

The main campus in Vance County would receive $7,633,566, which the college plans to use to consolidate several technology-oriented programs into one area, in addition to literacy, community service and occupational extension classrooms. This would create free space for classrooms for existing curriculum and continuing education programs around campus, Miller said.

Similar consolidation would occur on the South Campus in Granville County and the Warren County Campus in Warrenton, again freeing up space for curriculum classrooms. South Campus would get $3,879,202 for new construction, and Warren Campus would receive $1,915,271.

The Franklin County Campus has similar needs, and it would get $2,369,272 for new construction and to complete the multi-purpose building currently under construction there.

Additional parking would be added at all four campuses with the bond money.

In addition, VGCC would receive $1,273,135 for repairs and renovations at the four campuses.

“Vance-Granville Community College is dedicated to providing for the educational needs of the four counties it serves,” President Miller said. “We have added new programs in recent years in response to needs expressed in the communities.

“We will continue to assess the needs of the people we serve and adjust our programs accordingly, but we will need the facilities to provide for the technology-driven demands of the future,” he added.

“Passage of these bonds on Nov. 7 will go a long way toward making it possible for us to provide the training and education necessary for our people to prosper and enjoy a better standard of life in the years ahead.”