Written by Carina A. Brunson Friday, 12 July 2013 08:00
Bursting at its seams with over 31,000 students, South Texas College recently announced they will be asking Hidalgo and Starr County voters to approve $159 million in construction bonds plus a three-cent increase in maintenance and operation (M&O) taxes. The bond money would be used for the construction and equipping of college facilities. The property tax increase would help pay for the maintenance, staffing and operation costs of the college, including new buildings.
The proposed construction bonds would increase the tax rate by one-half cent, making the total proposed increase 3 ½ cents. The current tax rate for STC is 15 cents. With the proposed increase, the new tax rate would be 18 ½ cents per $100 valuation.
To accommodate current student enrollment growth rates and educational needs, the college wants to build four new buildings at the Pecan Campus; expand the Nursing and Allied Health and Technology campuses in McAllen; construct Health Professions and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classrooms and expansions at the Mid Valley Campus in Weslaco; construct a Health Professions and Science Center, expand technical workforce training facilities, construct a new library and expand the current one for a Cultural Arts Center and expand two other buildings at the Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City; establish a Regional Center for Public Safety to provide training for law enforcement in Pharr; and develop STEM labs and entry level workforce training programs at the STC teaching site at La Joya ISD.