A new arts and humanities building at Somerset Community College mentioned by Gov. Steve Beshear during a speech earlier this month to Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce refers to a welcomed design plan but at this point there are no bricks and mortar.
Dr. Jo Marshall, president and CEO of Somerset Community College, said the governor was referring to $1.5 million in agency bonds and another $500,000 in donations to design an arts and humanities building and develop a needs assessment plan for the facility.
“Hopefully, the building would have an auditorium,” said Marshall. “Now, we don’t have a space large enough on any of our campuses to serve as an auditorium,” she noted.
Marshall’s vision for the proposed facility includes expansion of the college’s theater program and its arts and music departments.
The opportunity for an arts and humanities building for Somerset Community College is through KCTCS BuildSmart Investment in Kentucky Competitiveness. It authorizes Kentucky Community and Technical College System to issue agency bonds to fund the top capital project at each of the 16 KCTCS colleges.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System comprises 16 colleges with more than 68 campuses. It was founded as part of the Postsecondary Improvement Act of 1997 (House Bill 1), signed by former Gov. Pual E. Patton to create a new institution to replace the University of Kentucky’s Community College System and the Kentucky Department of Education’s network of technical schools.
The $1.5 million in agency bonds to fund a design plan for an arts and humanities building at Somerset Community College would be retired by a $4 per credit hour fee imposed on all KCTCS students, beginning this fall. “When the design plan is complete we would have to go back (to the state) and seek more money for the building,” said Marshall.
Site of the arts and humanities structure has not been selected. “We are looking at a number of sites,” she said.
Timetable for the building is not set. “I hope it’s in the very near future,” Marshall concluded.
Bill Mardis is the Editor Emeritus of the Commonwealth Journal.
You can contact him at email@example.com.