FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 11, 2016
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The leaders from three Guilford County educational institutions will come together on Thursday, Jan.14 to sign a joint resolution in support of the $2 billion Connect NC Bond. Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. of North Carolina A&T State University (N.C. A&T) and President Randy Parker of Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) will sign the resolution at 4:30 p.m. at the GTCC Donald W. Cameron Campus (7908 Leabourne Road, Colfax) in the BB&T Oak Ridge B meeting room.
The $2 billion Connect NC Bond is an investment in the future for North Carolinians and the communities where they live, work and play. In the past 15 years, the state’s population has grown by 2 million becoming the ninth most populous state in the country. As the population has grown, so has the need to strengthen the state’s infrastructure. This strategic investment in North Carolina’s public infrastructure – state parks, agriculture, safety, water and sewer, higher education – will cultivate a stronger economy, improve quality of life, enhance the safety of our food and our citizens, and provide improved facilities for education and training.
If approved by North Carolina voters on March 15, 2016, the Connect NC Bond would make a significant investment in higher education statewide, including $980 million for the UNC System and $350 million for the North Carolina Community College System to address targeted construction and needed repairs and renovations. Below is a description of how each local institution will use the funding to enhance opportunities for citizens, business and industry, and the community in the Piedmont Triad.
- GTCC — Guilford Technical Community College would use the $9.5 million bond funds for enhancements to Medlin Campus Center, a more than 40-year-old facility on the Jamestown Campus. The Medlin Campus Center will be upgraded to a state-of-the-art Student Center that supports student success and completion. The renovations will result in improved student experience and more efficient operations. Since the facility was originally built in 1974, the number of enrolled curriculum students has grown from 4,556 to 11,525 in fall 2015. GTCC created $528.7 million in added economic value during the fiscal year 2012-2013; that’s equivalent to creating 9,447 new jobs.
- N.C. A&T — As the top producer of African American engineers on the undergraduate level, North Carolina A&T State University would use $90 million in bond funds to construct the Engineering Research and Innovation Complex (ERIC) – a state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary, multifunctional facility for academics, research and community engagement. The ERIC will provide the space and resources to attract some of the world’s most highly motivated and high-achieving STEM students and faculty to A&T and the Piedmont Triad. This facility has the potential to help the university increase the $656.2 million and nearly $1 billion economic impact it has had on the region and the state of North Carolina.
- UNCG — The University of North Carolina at Greensboro would use the allocated $105 million in bond funds for a new Nursing and STEM instruction building to increase the number of graduates in science and healthcare fields and to ensure the highest quality pre-service clinical preparation for good paying high-demand careers. With biology labs at UNCG currently operating at 160 percent of the recommended utilization and the School of Nursing turning away a growing number of qualified students each year, the proposed construction responds to immediate and future needs of the state and employers by providing needed modern flexible lab and classroom space for nursing, biology, chemistry and the health sciences.
How much of a difference can $204.5 million make? Collectively, these improvements are needed to prepare students for careers in vital fields — such as nursing and engineering — that are growing in our state. Education and training are at the heart of these institutions, but state-of-the-art facilities are needed to maintain the edge it needs to provide Guilford County and North Carolina citizens with the facilities, education and training to achieve their career goals and live, work and play in the state.
For more information about Connect NC, visit http://www.connect.nc.gov.
— Carla Kucinski/GTCC