Student senator pleads her case to keep DTEC

Jessica Grimes, Student Senate

The capital borrowing plan total for 2016-2017 school year is $25.4 million. Yet the Madison College administration claims that the college cannot afford $30 million worth of upgrades for Downtown Education Center that many believe are not entirely necessary.

According to assessments done by the Concord and Findorff consultants hired by Madison College to assess DTEC in the last two years, the total cost of estimated repairs for DTEC is $14.9 million to $19.3 million.

In 2010 the college was telling The Capital Times that DTEC only needed $1.2 million worth of upgrades and repairs. In six years, that number has somehow become $30 million and many people are feeling skeptical.

DTEC is a valuable asset to Madison College that is being under-utilized. The DTEC property is the only property owned by Madison College in Madison besides the Commercial Avenue Campus.

The college could likely save money if it were not unnecessarily renting and renovating buildings on the West and South side. There is ample space to house more classes at DTEC. Madison College is also leasing out the sixth floor of DTEC to a science museum, when that space could be used for classes. There is an entire half of the block that DTEC is on that the college could use for expansion if need be.

It makes sense to have a central location for residents of the downtown area and surrounding areas. The shuttle from Downtown to Truax is the most used shuttle according to Student Senate records. This is because many people who live Downtown take their classes at Truax because those classes are no longer offer at DTEC. Fewer classes being offered at DTEC correlates directly with enrollment going down at DTEC. It is likely that these people who live in the Downtown area would in fact take their classes Downtown if the classes were offered there.

I would appreciate it if all options were expended in preserving the building before a decision to discontinue utilizing such a prime location and functional building were made.

The board will be holding a special meeting where public comments are welcome on April 20, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Truax Room B3243. The board is scheduled to vote on the fate of DTEC on Wednesday, May 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Truax Room B3243. We need a crowd at these board meetings. If you don’t want to speak bring a sign showing your support!