After years of dreaming, Tyler Junior College looks like it will have a new nursing and health sciences facility.
TJC voters approved a $25 million bond proposal by a 362-vote margin.
Complete but unofficial results showed 1,650 people, or 54.8 percent, voted for the proposal, and 1,360, or 45.2 percent, voted against it.
The bond money combined with $25 million in student fees and private donations will fund the facility.
“I think it’s great news for the entire community, and we’re grateful for the support and faith they’ve placed in us, and we’re going to do everything we can to merit the faith,” TJC President Dr. Mike Metke said Saturday night. “And we’re going to have a project that’s as great as this city is.”
Metke said TJC administrators will start Monday on building a timeline for what needs to happen between now and fall 2014, when they want to open the facility.
Building this facility has long been a priority of college officials. However, infrastructure problems on campus forced them to put it on the back burner.
After completing more than $25 million worth of work in the past two years on campus — including installing underground utilities, replacing the chilled and hot water loop system, upgrading HVAC systems and renovating buildings — TJC administrators were ready to move forward with this project.
Few specifics are known about the facility because college officials said they didn’t want to spend time or money on plans and designs until they knew if the community wanted to fund the project. However, the basics are known.
The new facility is expected to provide for more program offerings, increased student enrollment, new technology and improved work force preparation.
TJC predicts it will increase its annual graduate output in health care fields by 50 percent, from 600 to 900, with the additional space and programs in the facility.
As many as 10 new health sciences programs could be added to the college’s curriculum because of the additional space.
TJC has 16 departments in its existing School of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Metke has said the additional programs will be selected in coordination with the needs of the local hospitals and medical community.
TJC will repurpose the existing space that houses healthcare programs for other needs.
The bond proposal’s estimated tax rate impact ranges from just less than 1.5 cents per $100 valuation to more than 2 cents per $100 valuation. The variation depends upon the bond’s maturity date. The college’s estimates go from 15 to 30 years in five-year increments.
For the owner of a $100,000 home, a 30-year amortization would give them a monthly tax rate increase of $1.22 and an annual increase of $14.70.
This same homeowner would see a $1.78 monthly tax rate increase and a $21.35 yearly tax rate increase if the college went with a 15-year amortization.