We have an opportunity Tuesday to help improve the future of post-secondary education in Delta County. Citizens can vote to renew a one mill levy for capital improvements at Bay College. That's a renewal of the millage that propelled the building of the Heirman Center.
Renewal will allow much needed building renovations to the welding center, an outdated facility, but one that has provided employment for many residents over time. It will also allow modernization of the wastewater management lab, a program with 100 percent job placement, as well as, the addition of an Advance Manufacturing Program to meet 21st century needs.
No new buildings are planned with this millage, but most of the facilities on campus, aside from Heirman and the privately funded Besse Center, date to the 1970s and truly need updating for the needs of today, and tomorrow's, students. Other priorities on the horizon are the addition of a paramedic program, a new student success center and advanced technology classrooms.
All of these improvements are part of the college's strategic plan and are prioritized to be funded as the dollars become available. That one mil nets about $1 million per year. The first three items on the list alone are estimated to cost $4 million.
Bay College provides great opportunities for students just graduating high school, while also offering second chances for non-traditional students wanting to upgrade their skills or find new employment. It does this all while receiving 26 percent less in real dollars from the state in 2013 than it did just a few short years ago.
We hope you vote Tuesday, and vote yes to renew the one mill levy for capital improvements at Bay College.
Kelvin and Estelle Smyth