Over the last two days, I’ve presented parts 1 and 2 of bond analyst Steve Willson’s analysis of the $34 million so-called “Science Labs” project at MCC.
In the final installment today, Willson shows how a plan to refurbish existing labs morphed into a 100,000 square foot addition, complete with “Student Engagement” space for foosball tables, couches and big screen TVs.
MCC’s Not Really Science Labs Project
Please note even in the graphic above that the station usage of the two nursing labs are 39% and 35%.
The conclusion that there is a “shortage” is based on building labs that are much larger than actually exist at MCC now despite low utilization. In short,
Demonica Kemper recommends increasing capacity when the labs are currently being used at far less than capacity.
Then, in February 2016, a presentation was made to the Board entitled “Science Labs and Health Sciences Renovation Recommendations”.
The NEW plan is NOT to add 5,000 square feet, but to build 103,900 square feet of space at a cost of $34.35 million.
According to the July 2015 report from Demonica Kemper, MCC has 34,715 square feet of “classroom and service” space, 72,046 square feet of “Teaching Lab & Service” space, and 13,997 square feet of “Open Lab & Service” space.
That’s 120,758 square feet.
In other words, the NEW plan increases teaching space by 86% while the analysis in 2014 indicated a “shortage of only 697 square feet in teaching space.
If you have noticed that the amount of space needed is a constantly moving target, you are not alone. And look at the space being proposed.
That’s quite a fancy addition. And note that the “Science Labs and Health Sciences Renovation Recommendations” suddenly became the “Science/Student Engagement” Recommendation, complete with foosball tables and couches.
It is clear now that the new liberal board majority had an agenda.
- The justification for expansion is based on patently disproven enrollment projections.
- The “space utilization” study was transformed into a wish list without regard to demand or quality of existing facilities.
- The data prove MCC has sufficient lab space based both on hours used and station utilization.
- The new plan nearly doubles the amount of space at MCC and includes much more than refurbishing the science labs, despite the title given to the project.