Education Bond

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

The last bond was passed 10 years ago. And for Blue Ridge Community College, that's the last time they did major construction.

"Have you registered to vote?"

This year local colleges have a vested interest in their students voting, a vote yes will bring $107 million worth of construction to the area.

"If we didn't have the bond we couldn't fund these projects," President Jim Perkins says, BRCC.

If the bond passes, this open space at Blue Ridge will be home to a new $5 million building for the humanities.

"We've grown 25 percent in enrollment in the past 25 years and we're bursting at the seams and this new classroom building will really help us address the need," Perkins says.

Blue Ridge will also be making general improvements to campus and adding a maintenance building.

A new library would be on the way to JMU, in addition to renovations to several buildings, and across Main Street, you could be seeing a new center for the arts, which JMU says is good for the community.

"Because of the presence of the university you have access to much more cultural arts events and musical and thematic events that you wouldn't normally have unless you lived in a much larger city," Fred Hylton of JMU says.

That's not the only benefit.

"We can serve more students here at BRCC but also it will have an economic impact on our community, just think of the construction trades and all the new construction that will go on to stimulate the valley," Perkins says.

Eventually, taxpayers will be paying for this, but taxes will not go up, the cost becomes part of the General Assembly's budget and the bond is paid off over time.

"If we waited until we had the money the cost of construction would far exceed what it is right now," Perkins says.

This isn't the only bond you'll be voting on. There's also a $119 million bond that will go to state parks.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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