Below is Part 3 of the rebuttal from Lakewood bond analyst Steve Willson’s critique (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) to the “Corrections” paper about the critique issued by anonymous McHenry County College officials:
Rebuttal to MCC’s “Corrections in Response to McHenry County Blog Claims”
The 100,000 square foot addition.
According to a March 16, 2016 letter from Demonica Kemper,
“The existing science labs total 9,400 net assignable square footage.” It includes increasing the number of science labs from eight to ten, an increase of 25%. It includes increasing the total amount of space devoted to science labs to 14,526 square feet, an increase of 54%.
The same letter notes there are four health science labs now covering 4,407 square feet.
The plan is to increase the number of labs to six – a 50% increase, and to increase the space for the health labs to 10,040 square feet, an increase of 128%!
Yet the total project is for 103,900 square feet.
MCC’s “Corrections” document says the addition is “only” 66,500 square feet and the rest is remodeling.
I would suggest first, that the documents provided to the public do not show a need to increase the number of labs or their size.
I would suggest second that the total lab space, even in the documents presented, is an increase of only 10,759 square feet. Yet, apparently we are remodeling, roughly, 37,400 square feet and adding 66,500 square feet?
And all of this additional space suddenly springs out of the air.
The document “justifying” the new space speaks ONLY to the new labs, does NOT present the square footage numbers to the board or the public, and then suddenly announces a 103,900 square foot project, most of which is “student engagement space”.
In short, it has NOT been documented that we NEED more labs.
It has NOT been documented that the labs NEED to be bigger.
It has NOT been documented that space besides the labs NEED to be remodeled.
And it has NOT been documented that there is a NEED for a big addition for “student engagement”.
What’s sad is that, as I’ve said above, everyone agrees that the labs really do need to be remodeled.
And there is probably good evidence that they should be enlarged to more modern standards.
Not that MCC needs MORE labs, but that expanding at least some of them might be justified.
Yet the documents presented to the public in the board meetings do NOT prove even that need.
In any discussion of public policy, decisions should be based on the preponderance of the evidence:
the logic and the data.
I will leave it to the readers to decide whether my case is logical and well supported by the evidence and whether the anonymous “Corrections” document thoroughly refutes all of my evidence and presents new and persuasive evidence of its own. Below is a score card the public can use in deciding who proved more decisively their points.
The administration should/should not have made the “Corrections” document public.
The administration should/should not have identified the author.
Role of the Administration
The administration acted/did not act as an impartial provider of information.
Build It and They Will Come
Massive capital projects by government should be conservative and based on known current conditions/should be aggressive and based on questionable projections about the future.
The “wish list”
The administration proved/did not prove that the lab project is based on need rather than department head desires.
The administration proved/did not prove that the “student engagement” space is needed.
Enrollment is likely to remain flat or decline.
The preponderance of the evidence shows enrollment is likely to increase/decrease.
The huge addition should/should not be built if demand is not likely to increase.
The “Corrections” document addresses/does not address the Census Bureau and enrollment data.
The “Corrections” document does/does not refute the Census Bureau and enrollment data.
Demonica Kemper shaded their recommendations.
The evidence shows/does not show Demonica Kemper quoted one bad source and did not publicly address any of the other evidence.
The administration shows/does not show evidence that Demonica Kemper presently all relevant facts in an evenhanded manner.
The $34 million capital project is not based on need.
The class room hours and station utilization data show/do not show a need for more labs.
The classroom hours and station utilization data show/do not show a need for more space.
The 100,000 square foot addition.
The documents presented to the public make/do not make a strong case for non-science labs space.
= = = = =
Steve, thanks for taking the time to sort through all this.
Now we need to bring this to the board and administration and let them know we aren’t interested in funding their wish list.