Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Technical boost on way for higher education

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 6, 2013 at 3:06 a.m.

After years of planning, fundraising and preparing, the Victoria College Emerging Technology Center is finally under construction.

On July 30, a group of community leaders and Victoria College officials gathered to break ground on the site of the college's latest addition. We are excited to see work begin on what will be a 112,000-square-foot building right next to the Caterpillar plant in Victoria's industrial park off Lone Tree Road. The center will have 11 classrooms, three skills labs, four computer labs, three meeting rooms, three breakout rooms, a banquet hall and more to help train the next generation of industrial workers.

We applaud everyone who contributed to this project and made it possible, especially the voters of Victoria County, who approved a $22 million bond project for the construction of the center in 2012 with 66 percent approval. We are pleased to see Victoria County voters understand the importance of continued education and providing resources for improving and offering a well-trained workforce. That emphasis on offering training for industrial jobs will help encourage more companies to consider Victoria for new locations. We are grateful to voters for their foresight and willingness to invest in the future of education in Victoria.

We are also grateful to others who invested in the project through grants and contributions. Two of the biggest were the M.G. and Lillie A. Johnson Foundation, which provided a $1.9 million grant for training equipment and instructional technology, and Invista, which donated $30,000 to help pay for additional equipment. We applaud these groups for their generous donations and the investment they made in Victoria's education offerings and our city's economic future.

We are proud to see this center going up in Victoria. This will not only be a facility for Victoria College students but can also be used by others in the community for things such as corporate conference spaces and internship opportunities for high school students. We applaud Victoria College for having the ambition and the dedication to grow and for finding a way to fill a need in our community's economic sector for years to come. Your willingness to invest in the future of Victoria and the Crossroads through providing quality education and training is commendable, and we are proud to be home to your institution.

The Emerging Technology Center is scheduled to be completed by spring 2015. We look forward to the day when the center will open and classes can begin.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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