Linda Liddell’s Thoughts on Expanding MCC

On Tuesday, November 10th, the McHenry County College Board will discuss expanding the MCC campus.

Below is a message from Vice Chair Liddell regarding agenda item 9, Next Steps for Space at McHenry County College, appears below:

You can look at the consultant’s study here.


Liddell, Lina facing right 9-6-14The goal of this agenda item is to review the two options on space planning presented at the last Committee of the Whole, and to reach consensus on which one the Board wished to move forward.

In addition, once the Board has reached consensus on the direction, a discussion on financing the option chosen will also occur.

Even with choosing Option A or Option B and discussing financing, it will still be 5-7 years before a project is completed.

So, as the Board is thinking about the option to select, please remember that Mr. Demonica indicated that if all of Option A was selected and completed, that the space needs identified in the Paulien report would still not be addressed fully.

I encourage the Board to discuss which option will provide the space that the programs need.

We need to be making decisions now to address the needs the College currently has, because we are living in a dynamic time, and over the next 5-10 years, additional program needs will be articulated by the business/industry and district residents that will require the space to be flexible and expandable.

If everyone could take a closer look at Option B, because with further research it appears this might be the more feasible solution to meet our College’s requirements by 2025.

On that option the information in the box on the right of Option B all needs to be done. If one part within the box is done, all of the projects in the box need to be done.

Please read and review the information so that the Board can move forward to discuss specifically the option and the way it will be funded, and have a good solid conversation.

On page 81, the items inside the box all need to be done because they are interconnected; if one is done it impacts another in the box.

The things outside the box can be discussed one by one to see how implementing each may contributed to addressing the programmatic space needs.

I would propose three questions. When you’re evaluating areas outside the box, ask yourself:

• Is this part of the plan critical to the College’s stated mission?
• What is the impact on student engagement, which we know leads to student success?
• Does the layout make physical sense to our county, to our taxpayers, to our students?

We will be looking at all the different ways of funding.

After choosing the option, we will have some solid discussion.

Dr. Smith and the senior staff will be sharing some thoughts on how we can go about funding this, so that the burden is shared equally and it does not become so difficult having one segment bear the whole cost, but rather sharing it across all stakeholders.

We look forward to some lively conversation about that.


Linda Liddell’s Thoughts on Expanding MCC — 17 Comments

  1. They know exactly how they will fund this unneeded expansion.

    Smith is good at this, it is what she does best.


  2. I thought the taxpayers already made their opinions known quite loudly.

    This looks like yet another Education choice to wait out the naysayers who don’t have the money to spend.

    If they don’t get what they demand they just demand it again and again until people stop fighting it.

    Send Smith packing asap.

  3. Tinkerbelle and Anonymous, people need to show up on the 10th and 18th to SPEAK during public comment and make their feelings known.

    Both days at 6:30pm sharp would be preferable, to let them know ‘the people’ mean business.

    They are either going to raise TAXES, raise TUITION or BOTH!

    You can better believe the students will be there to protest tuition costs going up, so why not the taxpayers?

    Smith is packing and will be gone Dec 31st.

    If they raise your taxes that will be forever!

    A speech isn’t necessary, but a few sentences telling them how you feel is sufficient.

    Let them see there are eyes on them!

    When flying under the radar, they get very brazen!!!

  4. This is standard procedure by the cheerleaders.

    They co-opted the study, turned it into a wish list by the administration with no consideration of demand by students, and are now using it as “evidence” to justify their pre-determined decision.

    Reminds me of the old joke:

    the administrator wants to hire a consultant.

    He asks the first candidate, “How much is 2+2?” The consultant looks puzzled and responds, “Four.”

    The administrator asks the second candidate,

    “How much is 2+2?”. The consultant answers, “Four?”

    The administrator asks the third candidate, “How much is 2+2?”

    The consultant answers, “How much do you want it to be?” and is hired immediately.

  5. Many Illinois and McHenry County residents have already voiced their opinions on matters such as this by voting … with their feet.

    And many more will do the same in the coming months and years.

  6. Been there and done that re telling educators to knock off the constant money grabbing.

    They don’t give a darn.

    Their “pet” politicians do what gets them reelected and if that means getting the educators’ support, they’ll fall in line.

    Getting voters to accept they are getting taken isn’t as easy as it sounds. None of them want to rock the boat or get shunned by neighborhood peers.

    Desires for champagne schools on someone else’s budget is the main wan and who gets hurt isn’t top of the priority list for common sense..

  7. She writes as though the decision has already been made to “do” something and that its just a matter of “what” to do.

    The first question that is required to be answered is whether they need to do anything at all.

    According to this recent NWH article:, all of the D155 feeder districts recently performed a 10-year enrollment study.

    The largest district, Crystal Lake 47, shows a continued reduction of enrollment with another 500 students lost.

    That is on top of losing 644 students from 2011 to 2015 according the district’s ISBE report card data.

    And every other feeder elementary district is experiencing similar enrollment losses.

    Based on this data, MCC will be literally running out of students to teach over the next 3-8 years.

    All the MCC board has to do is visit the ISBE district report card site and pull enrollment data and then ask the districts for a copy of the recent Kasarda enrollment study and one would quickly conclude that the question is not “how do we expand” but, “how do we contract effectively to deal with a substantial, sustained reduction in customers.”

  8. Occam, yours is a most apropos observation since D47 hired a consultant to tell them the obvious.

    Boards hire consultants to do work they or staff should be capable of doing so the Boards can appeal to the opinion of “experts” to support their existing sgenda.

  9. Similar flat-to-down enrollment (despite recruitment efforts for tuition students and pre-k) predictions

    From Woodstock D200 2016 Budget Book:

    “In the next five years, depending on the economy, the district will most likely experience a minimal reduction in student enrollment.

    “Current estimates project enrollment to remain constant with the 2015-16 enrollment figures for the school years of 2016-17 through 2018-19.

    “The sixth day enrollment figures for the 2015-16 school year show enrollment at 6,590 including pre-school and private placement students.

    “This is a decrease of 20 students over last school year’s sixth day enrollment of 6,610. Official enrollment figures for the 2015-16 school year will be available on October 1, 2015.

    “It is anticipated that the official enrollment figure will be slightly more than the sixth-day enrollment figure.”

    page 220 of document

  10. Sure and the needs of the workforce haven’t changed at all.

    This blogs shows me one thing- you do not have any idea what the employers of the county need and have asked for.

    A Community College has as many education to employment programs as it does have programs to lead to a four year degree.

    The world has changed.

    At least become an educated consumer.

    Exactly how do you think the tail spin will change if we don’t invest in growing a strong workforce?

  11. I thought I’d summarize the D155 feeder districts’ enrollment history to demonstrate MCC’s lack of demand that will accelerate for the foreseeable future.

    Total enrollment in 2011 for FRG-3, Cary-26, Prairie Grove-46, and Crystal Lake-47 totalled 12,914.

    By 2015, in 4 only years, total enrollment fell 922 students to 11,992, with all districts seeing substantial declines.

    And that decline will continue for the foreseeable future.

    While the elementary districts have been dealing with this impact for several years now, and D155 beginning to see its effects, MCC is at the tail-end of the busting of the enrollment-bubble.

    MCC is the last to see the effects of these smaller graduating classes.

    The absolute last thing MCC should be doing is massively expanding to serve a rapidly shrinking future customer base.

  12. Don’t assume the close – Linda.

    Don’t forget that you represent the entire citizenry of McHenry county.

    Enrollment is down and the current space is FAR from being fully utilized.

    Use the existing fund balance and improve the labs and forget about expansion.

    The need is not there.

    Funding is not there either.

    Look at the facts, and for goodness sake stop wasting money on pre ordained consultants.

  13. Tom Wilbeck brings a hard headed common sense to government.

    And he is never buffaloed by staff.

    He is a very thoughtful fiscal conservative.

  14. @Tom Wilbeck –

    Some of this is not for new space, but to bring in new science classrooms.

    During Garden Fest a few years ago I walked down this area and walked into a few of the rooms as they were cleaned.

    They looked like they could fall apart at any moment.

    I hope when you were a trustee they at least take you out of the board room and toured the science area or maybe you walked into it yourself.

    Finally, regarding wasting money for consultants.

    Were you not a board member who voted to approve the last study?

  15. @Steve Wilson – Whenever Tom Wilbeck comments why do you always blow sunshine up his backside?

  16. Final thought to Trustee Linda Linddell’s comments you say there are only two choices.

    There are many more than two choice on the table.

    You can also do nothing, this would be a third choice.

    In addition, you can also decide to remodel inside the building, this would be a fourth choice.

    So there are more than two options on the table.

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